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L I B R A R Y 

AUG - 6 1969 

THE ONTARIO iNSTITUTE 
FOR STUDiES IN EDUCATiON 



THE LOEB CLASSICAL LIBRARY 

FOUNDED BY JAMES LOEB, LL.D. 

EDITED BY 
tT. E. PAGE, C.H., LITT.D. 

fE. CAPPS, PH.D., LL.D. tW. H. D. ROUSE, litt.d. 

L. A. POST, L.H.D. E. H. WARMINGTOX, m.a., f.r.hist.soc. 



PLINY 

NATURAL HISTORY 

IV 

LIBRI XII-XVI 



PLINY 

NA TURAL HISTORY 

WITH AN ENGLISH TRANSLATION 
IN TEN VOLUMES 

VOLUME IV 
LIBRI XII-XVI 

BY 

H. RACKHAM, M.A. 

FELLOW UF CHRIST'3 COLI.KCiE, CAMBRIDOB 




LONDON 

VVILLIAM HEINEMANN LTD 

CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS 

HARVARD UNIVERSITY PRESS 

MGMLX 



First printed 1945 
Reprinted 1960 



Printed in Great Britain 



CONTENTS 



PIQE 

INTRODUCTION V 

BOOK XII 1 

BooK xm 97 

BOOK XIV 185 

BOOK XV 287 

BooK XVI 385 

INDEX OF PERSONS 553 



The Editors annoimce with much regret the death 
of Mr. H. Rackham, whereby the Loeb Classical 
Library has lost one of its most helpful contributors. 
Mr. Rackham had completed his work on the galley- 
proofs of this volume, and was engaged in the 
revision of the page-proofs. The whole of the 
translation, except a few verbal changes, is his. 



INTRODUCTION 

Tiiis volume contains Books XII-XVI of Pliny's 
Naturalis Historia. Their subject is trees and vines. 

The detailed contents will be found in PHny's 
outhne of the work, which, with Hsts of the authorities 
used for each Book, forms the contents of Book I. 
For Books XII-XVI, see Volume I, pp. 65-80, of 
this edition. 

Book XII deals with trees — their various quaHties. 

Book XIII gives foreign trees and their use in 
supplying scent, fruit, paper and wood. 

Book XIV discusses vine-growing and varieties of 
wine. 

Book XV. OHves, oHve-oil and fruit-trees. 

Book XVI. Forest trees, their nature and varie- 
ties ; their value for timber and other commodities. 
Longevity of trees. Parasitic plants. 



PLINY : 
NATURAL HISTORY 

BOOK XII 



PLINII NATURALIS HISTORIAE 
LIBER XII 

I. Animalium omnium quae nosci potuere naturae 
generatim membratimque ita se habent. restat 
ut ^ — neque ipsa anima carentia, quandoquidem nihil 
sine ea vivit — terra edita aut ^ inde eruta dicantur 
ac nullum sileatur rerum naturae opus. 

Diu fuere occulta eius beneficia, summumque 
munus homini datum arbores silvaeque intellege- 
bantur. hinc primum ahmenta, harum fronde 
moUior specus, Hbro vestis ; etiamnunc gentes sic 
2 degunt. quo magis ac magis admirari subit his a 
principiis caedi montes in marmora, vestes ad Seras ^ 
peti, unionem in Rubri maris profunda,* zmaragdum 
in imam tellurem ^ quaeri. ad hoc excogitata sunt 
aurium vulnera, nimirum quoniam parum erat mani- 
bus, collo, crinibus gestari nisi infoderentur etiam 
coi*pori. quamobrem sequi par est ordinem vitae et 

^ V.l. restant. 

^ Madvig : ut (et Mayhoff). 

^ V.l. a Seribus. 

* V.l. profundo. 

^ Rackham : ima tellure. 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 



BOOK XII 

I. SucH are the generic and specific characteristics 
of all the animals about wliich it has been possible to 
obtain information. It remains to describe the things 
produced by the earth or dug up from it — these al^^o 
not being devoid of vital spirit, since nothing hves 
without it — and not to pass over in silence any of the 
works of nature. 

The riches of earth's bounty vvere for a lon^ time '^^^^^J 

, . , , , , 1 /• * 1 introdnctoTii 

hidden, and the trees and lorests were supposed to remarks. ' 
be the supreme gift bestowed by her on man. These 
first provided him with food, their fohage carpeted 
his cave and their bark served him for raiment ; there 
are still races which practise this mode of hfe. This 
inspires us with ever greater and greater wonder that 
starting from these beginnings man has come to 
quarry the mountains for marbles, to go as far as 
China for raiment, and to explore the depths of the 
Red Sea for the pearl and the bowels of the earth for 
the emerald. For this purpose has been devised the 
fashion of making wounds in the ears, because for- 
sooth it was not enough for jewels to be worn on 
the hands and neck and hair without making them 
even pierce through the body. Consequently it 
will be weh to follow the biological order and to speak 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

arbores ante alia dicere ac moribus primordia ingerere 
nostris. 

3 II. Haec fuere nummum templa, priscoque ritu 
simplicia rura etiam nunc deo praecellentem arborem 
dicant; nec magis auro fulgentia atque ebore simu- 
lacra quam lucos et in iis silentia ipsa adoramus. 
arborum genera numinibus suis dicata perpetuo 
servantur, ut lovi aesculus, ApoUini laurus, Minervae 
olea, Veneri myrtus, Herculi populus ; quin et 
Silvanos Faunosque et dearum genera silvis ac sua 

4 numina tamquam e caelo attributa credimus. arbores 
postea blandioribus fruge sucis hominem mitigavere : 
ex his recreans membra olei liquor viresque potus 
vini, tot denique sapores anni sponte venientes, et 
mensae, depugnetur licet earum causa ciun feris et 
pasti naufragorum coi-poribus pisces expetantur, 

5 etiam nunc tamen secundae. mille praeterea sunt 
usus earum sine quis vita degi non possit. arbore 
sulcamus maria terrasque admovemus, arbore ex- 
aedificamus tecta; arborea et simulacra numinum 
fuere nondum pretio excogitato beluarum cadaver 
atque ut, a diis nato iure luxuriae, eodem ebore 



BOOK XII. I. 2-II. 5 

of trees before earth's other products, and to bring 
forvvard origins for our customs. 

II. Once upon a time trees were the temples of the ^'•^<'« f«<^'?<* 

to cLcxttcs 

deities, and in conformity with primitive ritual simple 
country places even now dedicate a tree of exceptional 
height to a god ; nor do we pay greater worship to 
images shining with gold and ivory than to the forests 
and to the very silences that they contain. The 
different kinds of trees are kept pei-petually dedicated 
to their own divinities, for instance, the wdnter-oak 
to Jove, the bay to Apollo, the oHve to Minerva, the 
myrtle to Vemis, the poplar to Hercules ; nay, more, 
we also beheve that the Silvani and Fauns and various 
kinds of goddesses are as it were assigned to the 
forests from heaven and as their own special divinities. 
Subsequently it was the trees with juices more suc- usesof 
culent than corn that gave mellowness to man ; for ''''^^^' 
from trees are obtained oHve oil to refresh the limbs 
and draughts of wine to restore the strength, and in 
fine all the savours that come by the spontaneous 
generosity of the year, and the fruits that are even 
now served as a second course, in spite of the fact 
that battle must be waged with the wild beasts to 
obtain them and that fishes fattened on the corpses 
of shipwrecked mariners are in demand. Moreover, 
there are a thousand other uses for those trees which 
are indispensable for carrying on hfe. We use a 
tree to furrow the seas and to bring the lands nearer 
togethcr, we use a tree for building houses ; even 
the images of the deities were made from trees, 
before men had yet thought of paying a price for the 
corpses of huge animals, or arranged that inasmuch 
as the privilege of luxury had originated from the 
gods, we should behold the countenances of the deities 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

niiminum ora spectarentur et mensarum pedes. pro- 
dunt Alpibus coercitas ut ^ tum inexuperabili muni- 
mento Gallias hanc primum habuisse causam super- 
fundendi se Italiae, quod Helico ex Helvetiis civis 
earum fabrilem ob artem Romae commoratus ficum 
siccam et uvam oleique ac vini praemissa ^ remeans 
secum tulisset ; quapropter haec vel bello quaesisse 
venia sit. 
III. Sed quis non iure miretur arborem umbrae 
gratia tantum ex alieno petitam orbe ? platanus haec 
est, in ^ mare lonium Diomedis insula tenus eiusdem 
tumuH gratia primum invecta, inde in SiciHam 
transgressa atque inter primas donata ItaUae, et iam 
ad Morinos usque pervecta ac tributarium etiam 
detinens solum, ut gentes vectigal et pro umbra 

7 pendant. Dionysius prior Sicihae tyrannus Regium 
in urbem transtulit eas domus suae miraculum, ubi 
postea factum gymnasium ; nec potuisse in ampH- 
tudinem augescere aut aHas fuisse in ItaHa omni 

8 ac Spaniam^ apud auctores invenitur. IV. Hoc 
actum circa captae urbis aetatem ; tantumque postea 
honoris increvit ut mero infuso enutriantur : conper- 
tum id maxime prodcsse radicibus, docuimusque etiam 
arbores vina potare ! 

1 Mayhoff : et. ^ V.l. proraissa. ^ in add. Mayhqff. 

* Italia oiuni ac 8paniam W armington coll. Theophr. : Italia 
ac nominatim Hispania. 

" The vectigal solarium imposed on the provinces. 

* Spaniam ov Hispania (' Spain ') — so MSS. — is a mistrans- 
lation or misreading of Theophrastus' a-naviav (*rare ') Se koI 
iv Tfj 'IraAta Trdarj. 

" By theGauls, 390 b.o. 

6 



BOOK XII. II. 5-iv. 8 

and the legs of our tables made of the same ivory. 
It is stated that the Gauls, imprisoned as they were 
by the Alps as by a then insuperable buhvark, first 
found a motive for overflowing into Italy from the 
circumstance that a GalHc citizen from Switzerland 
named HeUco, who had sojourned at Rome on account 
of his skill as an artificer, had brought with him when 
he came back some dried figs and grapes and some 
samples of oil and wine ; and consequently we may 
pardon them for having sought to obtain these things 
even by means of war. 

III. But who would not be justifiably surprised to Treesintro- 
hear that a tree has been procured from another cHme aiZad^e 
merely for the sake of shade ? This tree is the plane, vi^^ne. 
which was first imported into the lonian Sea as far as 
the island of San Domenico to plant over the tomb 
of Diomede, and which crossed from there to Sicily 
and was one of the first trees bestowed on Italy, and 
which has now travelled as far as Belgium and actually 
occupies soil that pays tribute "■ to Rome, so that the 
tribes have to pay rent even for shade. The elder 
Dionysius, the tyrant of Sicily, imported plane-trees 
to the city of Reggio as a marvel to adorn his palace, 
on the site where afterwards a gymnasium was built ; 
and it is found in the authorities that these trees were 
not able to grow to full size, and that in all Italy 
there were no others except the 'Spania.''' IV. 
This took place at about the period of the capture 
of Rome ; ' and so much honour has since accrued 
to plane-trees that their growth is encouraged by 
having wine poured on them, as it has been 
found that this is of the greatest benefit to the 
roots, and we have tauglit even trees to be wine- 
bibbers ! 

7 



PLINY: NATURAI. HISTORY 

9 V. Celebratae sunt : ^ primum in ambulatione 
Academiae Athenis cubitorum xxxiii radice ramos 
antecedente ; nunc est clara in Lycia fontis gelidi 
socia amoenitate, itineri adposita domicilii modo, cava 
octoginta atque unius pedum specu, nemorosa vertice 
et se vastis protegens ramis arborum instar, agros 
longis obtinens umbris, ac ne quid desit speluncae 
imagini, saxea intus crepidinis corona muscosos 
complexa pumices, tam digna miraculo ut Licinius 
Mucianus ter consul et nuper provinciae eius legatus 
prodendum etiam posteris putaverit epulatum intra 
eam se cum duodevicensimo comite, large ipsa toros 
praebente frondis, ab omni alflatu securum, oblectante ^ 
imbrium per folia crepitu ^ laetiorem quam marmorum 
nitore, picturae varietate, laquearium auro, cubuisse 

10 ineadem. aliud exemplum Gai principis in Veliterno 
rure mirati unius tabulata laxeque ramormn trabibus 
scamna patula, et in ea epulati, cum ipse pars esset 
umbrae, quindecim convivarum ac ministerii capace 

11 triclinio, quam cenam appellavit ille nidum. est 
Gortynae in insula Creta iuxta fontem platanus una 

^ Celebrata est Sillig. 

2 Detlefsen (captantem Pintianus) : obstantem. 

* Detlefsen : crepitum. 



A reference to the emperor'8 great height and obesity. 



BOOK XII. V. 9- II 

V. Famous plane-trees are ; (1) one that grew in 



Faniovs 



the walks of the Academy at Athens, the roots ^f ?"'"^" '""*• 
which were 50 feet long and spread wider than the 
branches ; (2) at the present day there is a celebrated 
plane in Lycia, allied with the amenity of a cool 
spring ; it stands by the roadside Hke a dwelHng- 
house, with a hollow cavity inside it 81 feet across, 
forming with its summit a shady grove, and shielding 
itself with vast branches as big as trees and covering 
the fields with its long shadows, and so as to complete 
its resemblance to a grotto, embracing inside it mossy 
pumice-stones in a circular rim of rock — a tree so 
worthy to be deemed a marvel that Licinius Mucianus, 
who was three times consul and recently Heutenant- 
governor of the province, thought it worth handing 
down to posterity also that he had held a banquet 
with eighteen members of his retinue inside the tree, 
which itself provided couches of leafage on a bounte- 
ous scale, and that he had then gone to bed in the 
same tree, shielded from every breath of w4nd, and 
receiving more deHght from the agreeable sound of 
the rain dropping through the foHage than gleaming 
marble, painted decorations or gilded paneUing could 
have afforded. (3) Another instance is connected 
with the Emperor CaHgula, who on an estate at 
VeHetri was impressed by the flooring of a single plane- 
tree, and benches laid loosely on beams consisting 
of its branches, and held a banquet in the tree — ■ 
himself constituting a considerable portion of the 
shadow " — in a dining-room large enough to hold 
fifteen guests and the servants : this dining-room 
the emperor caHed his ' nest.' (4) There is a single 
plane-tree at the side of a spring at Gortyn in the 
island of Crete which is celebrated in records written 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

insignis utriusque linguae monimentis, numquam 
folia dimittens, statimque et Graeciae fabulositas 
superfuit lovem sub ea cum Europa concubuisse, ceu 
vero non alia eiusdem generis esset in Cypro ! sed 
ex ea primum in ipsa Creta, ut est natura hominum 
novitatis avida, platani satae regeneravere vitium, 
quandoquidem commendatio arboris eius non alia 
maior est quam soles aestate arcere, hieme admittere. 

12 inde in Italiam quoque ac suburbana sua Claudio 
principe Marcelli Aesernini libertus sed qui se 
potentiae causa Caesaris Ubertis adoptasset, spado 
ThessaHcus praedives, ut merito dici posset is quoque 
Dionysius, transtulit id genus. durantque et in 
Italia portenta terrarum praeter illa scilicet quae ipsa 
excogitavit Italia. 

13 VI. Namque et chamaeplatani vocantur coactae 
brevitatis, quoniam arborum etiam abortus inveni- 
mus ; hoc quoque ergo in genere piunihonum infeU- 
citas dicta erit. fit autem et serendi genere et 
recidendi. primus G. Matius cx equestri ordine, 
divi Augusti amicus, invenit nemora tonsilia intra 
hos Lxxx annos. 

14 VII. Peregrinae et cerasi Persicaeque et omnes 
quarum Graeca nomina aut aUena ; sed quae ex iis 

" I.e. lack of the natural property of losing its foliage in 
winter. 



BOOK XII. V. ii-vii. 14 

both in CTreek and Latin, as never shedding its leaves ; 
and a typical Greek story about it has come down 
from early times, to the effect that underneath it 
Jupiter lay with Europa — ^just as if really there were 
not another tree of the same species in the island of 
Cyprus ! Shps from this tree, however, planted first in 
Crete itself — so eager is human nature for a novelty — 
reproduced the defect 1 ^ for defect it was, because 
the plane has no greater recommendation than its 
property of warding off the sun in summer and ad- 
mitting it in winter. During the principate of 
Claudius an extremely wealthy Thessahan eunuch, 
who was a freedman of Marcclkis Aeserninus but had 
for the sake of obtaining power got himself enrolled 
among the freedmen of the emperor, imported this 
variety of plane-tree from Crete into Italy and 
introduced it at his country estate near Rome — so 
that he deserves to be called another Dionysius ! 
And these monstrosities from abroad still last on in 
Italy also, in addition, that is, to those which Italy 
has devised for herself. 

VI. For there is also the variety called the ground- Th^dwarf- 
plane, stunted in height — since we have discovered ^ "^' 
the art of producing abortions even in trees, and 
consequently even in the tree class we shall have 
to speak of the unhappy subject of dwarfs. The 
ground-plane is produced by a method of planting 
and of lopping. CHpped arbours were invented within 
the last 80 years by a member of the Equestrian order 
named Gaius Matius, a friend of his late Majesty 
Augustus. 

\TI. The cherry and the peach and all the trees 
with Greek or foreign names are also exotic ; but 
those among them which have been naturaHzed here 

II 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

incolarum numero esse coepere dicentur inter frugi- 
feras. in praesentia extemas persequemur a salutari 
maxime orsi. 

15 Malus Assyria, quam alii Medicam vocant, venenis 
medetur. folium eius est unedonis intercurrentibus 
spinis. pomum ipsum alias non manditur, odore 
praecellit foliorum quoque, qui transit in vestes una 
conditas ^ arcetque animalium noxia. arbor ipsa 
omnibus horis pomifera est, aliis cadentibus, aliis 

16 maturescentibus, aliis vero subnascentibus. tempta- 
vere gentes transferre ad sese propter remedii 
praestantiam fictilibus in vasis, dato per cavernas 
radicibus spiramcnto (qualiter omnia transitura 
longius seri artissime transferrique meminisse con- 
veniet, ut semel quaeque dicantur) ; sed nisi apud 
Medos et in Perside nasci noluit. hoc est cuius 
grana Parthorum proceres incoquere diximus escu- 
lentis commendandi halitus gratia. nec aUa arbor 
laudatur in Medis. 

17 VIII. Lanigeras Serum in mentione gentis eius 
narravimus, item Indiae arborum magnitudinem. 
unam e peculiaribus Indiae Vergihus celebravit 
hebenum, nusquam ahbi nasci professus. Herodotus 
eam Aethiopiae intellcgi maluit, in tributi vicem 

^ Detlefsen : conditiis. 



» GeorgksU. 116 f. 

* Herodotus says 200 logs, III. 97. The term ' ebony ' was 
and still is applied to many difiFerent hard woods imported 
into European countries. 

12 



BOOK XII. VII. 14-V111. 17 

will be specified among the fruit-trees. For the 
present we will go through the real exotics, beginning 
with the one most valuable for health. 

The citron or Assyrian apple, called by others the ThecUron. 
Median apple, is an antidote against poisons. It has 
the leaves of the strawberry-tree, but with prickles 
running among them. For the rest, the actual fruit 
is not eaten, but it has an exceptionally strong scent, 
which belongs also to the leaves, and which pene- 
trates garments stored with them and keeps off 
injurious insects. The tree itself bears fruit at all 
seasons, some of the apples faUing while others are 
ripening and others just forming. Because of its 
great medieinal value various nations have tried to 
acchmatize it in their own countries, importing it in 
earthenware pots provided with breathing holes for 
the roots (and similarly, as it will be convenient to 
record here so that each of my points may be men- 
tioned only once, all plants that are to travel a 
specially long distance are planted as tightly as 
possible for transport) ; but it has refused to grow 
except in Media and Persia. It is this fruit the pips 
of which, as we have mentioned, the Parthian xii. 278. 
grandees have cooked with their viands for the sake 
of sweetening their breath. And among the Medes 
no other tree is highly commended. 

VIII. We have already described the wool-bearing vi. 54. 
trees of the Chinese in making mention of that race, 
and we have spoken of the large size of the trees in vii. 21. 
India. One of those pecuhar to India, the ebony, is hidian 
spoken of in glowing terms by Virgil,<* who states that '^J^^^*^ 
it does not grow in any other country. Herodotus,'' 
however, prefers it to be ascribed to Ethiopia, stating 
that the Ethiopians used to pay as tribute to the 

13 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

regibus Persidis e materia eius centenas phalangas 
tertio quoque anno pensitasse Aethiopas cum auro et 

18 ebore prodendo. non omittendum id quoque, vice- 
nos dentes elephantorum grandes, quoniam ita signi- 
ficavit, Aethiopas ea de causa pendere soHtos. tanta 
ebori auctoritas erat urbis nostrae cccx anno : 
tunc enim auctor ille historiam eam condidit Thuriis 
in Italia, quo magis mirum est quod eidem credimus, 
qui Padum amnem vidisset neminem ad id tempus 
Asiae Graeciaeque visum. cognita ^ Aethiopiae 

19 forma, ut diximus, nuper allata Neroni principi 
raram arborem Meroen usque a Syene fine imperii per 
DCcccLxxxxvi p. nuUamque nisi palmarum generis 
esse docuit. ideo fortassis in tributi auctoritate 
tertia res fuerit hebenus. 

20 IX. Romae eam Magnus Pompeius triumpho 
Mithridatico ostendit. accendi Fabianus negat, uri ^ 
tamen odore iucundo. duo genera eius : rarum id 
quod mehus, arboreum, tereti ^ et enodi materie * 
nigri splendoris ac vel sine arte protinus iucundi, 
alterum fruticosum cytisi modo et tota India dis- 
persum. 

21 X. Est ibi et spina simihs sed deprehensa vel 
lucernis igni protinus transihente. 

^ V.l. visu {aut ut sibi, aut aut sibi) cognitum. 

2 Rackham : uritur. 

^ Detlefsen : iure (purae Madvig). 

* V.l. enodis raateriae. 



" 446 B.c. ; but Thurii, where Herodotus settled to escape 
from political disorders at Halicarnassus, his native city, was 
not colonized by Greek settlers till 443 b.c. 

* I.e., apparently, a thin sheet of this wood is transhicent. 

14 



BOOK XII. VIII. 17-X. 21 

Kings of Persia every three years a hundred logs 

of ebony, together with gold and ivory. Nor 

also should we omit the fact, since that author 

indicates it, that the Ethiopians used to pay twenty 

large elephant tusks on the same account. So high 

was the esteem in which ivory was held in the 310th 

year " of our city, the date at which that author 

composed his history at Thurii in Italy ; which makes 

all the more surprising the statement which we accept Hdt.iii.ii5. 

on his authority, that nobody of Asia or Greece had 

hitherto been seen who had evcr seen the river Po. 

The exploration of the geography of Ethiopia, which 

as we have said had Tately been reported to thevi. isi. 

Emperor Nero, showed that over a space of 1,996 

miles from Syene on the frontier of the empire to 

Meroe trees are rare, and there are none except of 

the palm species. That is possibly the reason why 

ebony was the third most important item in the 

tribute paid. 

IX. Ebony was exhibited at Rome by Pompey the varieties of 
Great on the occasion of his triumph over Mithridates. ^^»"i'- 
According to Fabius ebony does not give out a flame, 

yet burns with an agreeable scent. It is of two 
kinds : the better one, which grows as a tree, is 
rare — it is of a smooth substance and free from 
knots, and of a shiny black colour that is pleasing 
to the eye even in the natural state without the 
aid of art ; whereas the other grows as a shrub 
hke the cytisus, and is spread over the whole of 
India. 

X. In India there is also a thorn the wood of The indian 
which resembles ebony, but can be detected even '^*^'""- 

by the flame of a lantern, as the hght at once shines 
through.* 

15 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

Nimc eas exponemus quas mirata est Alexandri 
Magiii victoria orbe eo patefacto. 

22 XI. Ficus ibi eximia pomo, se ipsa semper serens, 
vastis diffunditur ramis quorum imi in terram adeo 
curvantur ut annuo spatio infigantur novamque sibi 
propaginem faciant circa parentem in orbem quodam 
opere topiario. intra saepem eam aestivant pastores 
opacam pariter et munitam vallo arboris, decora 
specie subter intuenti proculve fornicato ambitu. 

23 superiores eiusdem rami in excelsum emicant silvosa 
multitudine vasto matris corpore, ut lx ^ passus 
pleraeque orbe colligant, umbra vero bina stadia 
operiant. foliorum latitudo peltae effigiem Amazoni- 
cae habet; ea causa fructum integens crescere 
prohibet, rarusque est ^ nec fabae magnitudinem 
excedens, sed per folia soUbus coctus praedulcis 
sapore et dignus miraculo arboris. gignitur circa 
Acesinen maxime amnem. 

24 XII. Maioreahapomoetsuavitatepraecellentiore,^ 
quo sapientes Indorum vivunt. foHum alas avium 
imltatur longitudine trium cubitorum, latitudine 
duum. fructum cortice emittit* admirabilem suci 
dulcedine, ut uno quaternos satiet. arbori nomen 

1 XL? Mayhoff. 

2 est add. edd. : rarus is parvusque ? Mayhoff. 

^ Rackham {vel qua pro quo) : Major . . . praecellentior. 
* Gelenius : mittit. 

" I.e. the banyan. 

i6 



BOOK XII. X. 2I-XII. 24 

We will now describe the trees that aroused the 
wonder ol" the victorious expedition of Alexander 
the Great when that part of the world was first 
revealed. 

XI. The Indian fig-tree " bears exceptionally fine The indian 
fruit, and it is self-propagating, as it spreads its ^" "2"'"- 
branches to an enormous width and the bottom ones 

bend down to the earth so heavily that in a year's 
time they take root, and produce for themselves a 
fresh offspring planted in a circle round the parent 
tree hke the work of an ornamental gardener. In- 
side this bower the shepherds dwell in summer, as it 
is at once shaded and protected by the fence of the 
tree — a very attractive sight when looked at from 
below or from a distance, with its vaulted dome. Its 
higher branches, however, shoot upward to a great 
height from the main bulk of the mother tree, 
forming an extensive grove, so as in many cases to 
enclose a circle sixty yards across, while they cover 
with their shade a space of a quarter of a mile. The 
broad leaves have the shape of an Amazon's shield; 
consequently they cover over the fruit and prevent 
it from growing, and it is scanty and not larger in 
size than a bean ; but as it is ripened by the rays of 
the sun shining through the fohage it has an extremely 
sweet tastc, and is worthy of the marvellous tree that 
produces it. This fig grows mostly in the neighbour- 
hood of the river Chenaub, 

XII. There is another fig the fruit of which is larger ^^* banana. 
and superior in flavour ; the sages of India live on it. 

The leaf of this tree resembles birds' wings, and 
is a yard and a half long and a yard broad. The 
fruit grows out of the bark, and is remarkable for the 
sweetness of its juice ; one bunch is enough for four 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

palae, pomo arienae. plurima est in Sydracis, 
expeditionum Alexandri termino. est et alia similis 
huic, dulcior pomo, sed interaneorum valetudini 
infesta; edixerat Alexander ne quis agminis sui id 
pomum attingeret. 

25 XIII. Genera arborum Macedones narravere maiore 
ex parte sine nominibus. est et terebintho simiUs 
cetera, pomo amygdaUs, minore tantum magni- 
tudine, praecipuae suavitatis, in Bactris utique. 
hanc aliqui tcrebinthon esse proprii generis potius 
quam similem ei putaverunt. sed unde vestes Uneas 
faciunt foUis moro simiUs, calyce pomi cynorrhodo. 
serunt eam in campis, nec est gratior uUarum ^ 
prospectus. 

26 XIV. OUva Indiae steriUs praeterquam oleastri 
fructus. passim vero quae piper gignunt iuniperis 
nostris similes, quamquam in fronte Caucasi soUbus 
opposita gigni tantum eas aUqui tradidere. semina 
a iunipero distant parvuUs siUquis, quales in phasioUs 
videmus ; hae priusquam dehiscant decerptae tostae- 
que sole faciunt quod vocatur piper longum, paula- 
tim vero dehiscentes maturitate ostendunt candidum 
piper, quod deinde tostum soUbus colore rugisque 

27 mutatur. verum et his sua iniuria est, atque caeU 

^ V.l. villarum, Pintianus vinearum. 



" The banana. 

* Perhaps the cotton-tree ; see also §§ 38-39. 

' The name here denotes the Hindu Kuah. 

i8 



BOOK XII. XII. 24-xiv. 27 

people. The tree is called the pala," and the fruit 
ariena, It is most frequent in the territory of the 
Sydraci, which was the farthest point reached by the 
expeditions of Alexander. There is also another 
tree resembHng this one, the fruit of which is sweeter, 
but causes derangement of the bowels. Alexander 
issued an order in advance forbidding any member of 
his expedition to touch it. 

XIII. The Macedonians have given accounts of 
kinds of trees that for the most part have no names. 
There is also one that resembles the terebinth in every 
other respect but the fruit of which is like an ahnond, 
though smaller, and is remarkably sweet. at all 
events when grown in Bactria. This tree has been 
considered by some persons to be a special kind of 
terebinth rather than another plant resembUng it. 

The tree^ frorn which they make Hnen for clothing Theflax-tree 
resembles a mulberry by its leaves, but the calyx of 
the fruit is Hke that of a dog-rose. It is grown in 
the plains, and no other plantations add more to the 
beauty of the landscape, 

XIV. The oHve-tree of India is barren, except for The 

the fruit of the wild oHve. But trees resembHng p'pp^-^'''- 
our junipers that bear pepper occur everywhere, 
althougii some writers have reported that they only 
grow on the southern face of the Caucasus.^ The 
seeds differ from those of the juniper by being in 
smaH pods, Hke those which we see in the case of the 
kidney-bean ; these pods when plucked before they 
open and dried in the sun produce wliat is caUed 
' long pepper,' but if left to open gradually, when 
ripe they disclose white pepper, which if afterwards 
dried in the sun changes colour and wrinkles up. 
Even these products, however, have their own special 

19 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

intemperie carbuneulant fiuntque semina cassa et 
inania, quod vocant bregma, sic Indorum lingua 
significante mortuum. hoc ex omni genere asperri- 
mum est levissimumque et pallidum. gratius nigrum, 
lenius utroque candidum. 

28 Non est huius arboris radix, ut ahqui existimavere, 
quod vocant zingiberi, aUi vero zinpiberi, quamquam 
sapore simile. id enim in Arabia atque Trogodytica in 
villis ^ nascitur parva herba ^ : radice candida. celeri- 
ter ea cariem sentit, quamvis in tanta amaritudine. 
pretium eius in Ubras X vi. piper longum faciUime 
adulteratur Alexandrino sinapi. emitur in Ubras X 

29 XV, album X vii, nigrum X iiii. Usum eius adeo 
placuisse mirum est : in aUis quippe. suavitas cepit, 
in aUis species invitavit, huic nec pomi nec bacae 
commendatio est aUqua. sola placere amaritudine, 
et hanc in Indos peti ! quis iUe primus experiri cibis 
voluit aut cui in appetendi aviditate esurire non fuit 
satis ? utrumque silvestre gentibus suis est et tamen 
pondere emitur ut aurum vel argentum. piperis 
arborem iam et ItaUa habet maiorem myrto nec 
absimilem. amaritudo grano eadem quae piperi 
murteo ^ crcdatur esse : deest tosto * iUa matm*itas 

* vilius Salmasius, in silvis ? Mayhoff. 
^ V .1. parvae herbae. 

^ Dellefsen coll. xv 118 : musteo. 

* liackham : tosta. 



« This was not the case, bot much was imported by way of 
Arabia and Trogodytica, i.e. N.E. Africa. 

20 



BOOK XII. XIV. 27 29 

infirmity, and inclement weather shrivels them up 
and turns the seeds into barren husks, called bregma, 
which is an Indian word meaning ' dead.' Of all 
kinds of pepper this is the most pungent and the 
lightest, and it is pale in colour. Black pepper is 
more agreeable, but white pepper is of a milder 
flavour than either the black or the ' long ' pepper. 

The root of the pepper-tree is not, as some people Ginger. 
have thought, the same as the substance called 
ginger, or by others zinpiberi, although it has a 
similar flavour. Ginger is grown on farms in Arabia 
and Cave-dwellers' Coimtry" ; it is a small plant with 
a white root. The piant is hable to decay very 
quickly, in spite of its extreme pungcncy. Its price 
is six denarii a pound. It is easy to adulterate long 
pepper with Alexandrian mustard. Long pepper is 
sold at 15 denarii a pound, white pepper at 7. and 
black at 4. It is remarkable that the use of pepper 
has come so much into favour, as in the case of some 
commodities their sweet taste has been an attraction, 
and in others their appearance, but pepper has 
nothing to recommend it in either fruit or berry. 
To think that its only pleasing quahty is pungency 
and that we go all the way to India to get this ! Who 
was the first person who was wilHng to try it on his 
viands, or in his greed for an appetite was not content 
mercly to be hungry ? Both pepper and ginger grow 
wild in their own countries, and nevertheless they 
are bought by weight like gold or silver. Italy also 
now possesses a pepper-tree that grows larger than a 
myrtle, which it somewhat resembles. Its grains 
have the same pungency as that beheved to belong 
to myrtle-pepper, but when dried it lacks the ripeness 
that the other has, and consequently has not the same 

21 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

ideoque et rugarum colorisque similitudo. adultera- 
tur iuniperi bacis mire vim trahentibus, in pondere 
quidem multis modis. 

30 XV. Est etiamnum in India piperis grani ^ simile 
quod vocatur caryophyllon, grandius fragihusque ; 
tradunt in Indica loto id gigni ; advehitur odoris 
gratia. fert et spina ^ piperis similitudinem praecipua 
amaritudine, foUis parvis densisque cypri modo, 
ramis trium cubitorum, cortice paUido, radice lata 
lignosaque buxei coloris. hac in aqua cum semine 
excocta in aereo vase medicamentum fit quod vocatur 

31 lycion. ea spina et in PeUo monte nascitur aduUerat- 
que medicamentum, item asphodeU radix aut fel 
bubulum aut absinthium, vel rhus vel amurca. 
aptissimum medicinae quod est spumosum ; Indi in 
utribus camelorum aut rhinocerotum id mittunt. 
spinam ipsam in Graecia quidam pyxacanthum 
Chironium vocant. 

32 XVI. Et macir ex India advehitur, cortex rubens 
radicis magnae, nomine arboris suae ; quaUs sit ea 
inconpertum habeo. corticis meUe decocti usus in 
medicina ad dysintericos praecipuus habetur. 

XVII. Saccharon et Arabia fert, sed laudatius 
India. est autem mel in harundinibus coUectum, 
cummium modo candidum, dentibus fragile, amplis- 
simum nucis abeUanae magnitudine, ad medicinae 
tantum usum. 

* V.l. granis. ' V.I. in spinis. 

" The Evgenia caryojihyllata of modcrn botany. 

^ Thie Laivsonia inermis. 

" I.e. the juice from the root, stem and berries of several 
species of Raisin-barberry. 

^ Probably ' Tellicherry bark,' from Holarrhena anti- 
dysenterica. 
22 



BOOK XII. XIV. 29-xvii. 32 

wrinkles and colouring cither. Pcpper is adulterated 
with junipcr berries, vvhicli absorb its pungency in a 
remarkable manner, and in the matter of vveight 
there are several vvays of adulterating it. 

XV. There is also in India a grain resembUng that of oiher indian 
pepi')er, but larger and more brittle, called the caryo- '^^"' 
phyllon,'' vvhich is reported to grow on the Indian 
lotus-tree ; it is imported here for the sake of its 

scent. There is also a thorn-bush bearing an ex- 
tremely bitter fruit that has a resemblance to pepper ; 
this shrub has small thickly clustering leaves Hke the 
cyprus^; the branches are 4 J feet long,the bark of a 
pale colour, and the root vvide-spreading and vvoody, 
of the coiour of box. This root boiled in vvater vvith 
the seed in a copper vessel produces the medicinc 
called lycion. The thorn in question also grovvs on 
Mount PeHon, vvhere it is used for mixing vvith a 
drug, as also are the root of the asphodel, ox-gall, 
wormvvood, sumach and the lees of oHve oil. The 
best lycion for medicinal purposes is the kind that 
makes a froth ; this <" is imported from India in leather 
bottles made of camel skin or rhinoceros hide. The 
shrub itself is sometimes knovvn in Greece under the 
name of Chiron's buckthorn. 

XVI. Another substance imported from India \s indianbaTk. 
macir, the red bark ^ of the large root of a tree of the 

same name, which I have been unable to idcntify. 
This bark boilcd with honey is considered in medicine 
to be a valuabie specific for dysentery. 

XVII. Arabia also produces tabaschir, but that ' ^ugar: 
grovvn in India is more esteemed. It is a kind of 
honey that collects in reeds, vvhite like gum, and 
brittle to the teeth; the largest pieces are the size 

of a filbert. It is only employed as a medicine. 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

33 XVII L Contermina Indis gens Ariana appellatur, 
cui spina lacrima pretiosa murrae simili, difficili 
accessu propter aculeos adnexos. ibi et frutex 

34 pestilens . . .^ raphani folio lauri, odore equos 
invitans, qui paene equitatu orbavit Alexandrum 
primo introitu. quod et in Gedrosis accidit item 
laureo folio ; et ibi spina tradita est cuius liquor 
adspersus oculis caecitatem inferret omnibus anima- 
libus. nec non et herba praecipui odoris referta 
minutis serpentibus quarum ictu protinus mori- 
endum esset. Onesicritus tradit in Hyrcaniae 
convaUibus fico similes esse arbores quae vocentur 
occhi, ex quibus defluat mel horis matutinis duabus. 

35 XIX. Vicina est Bactriana, in qua bdelhum lauda- 
tissimum. arbor est nigra magnitudine oleae, folio 
roboris, fructu caprifici : ipsi natura quae cummi, 
aUi brochon appellant, aUi malacham, aUi maldacon, 
nigrimi vero et in offas convolutum hadrobolon. esse 
autem debet tralucidae simile cerae, odoratum et, 
cum frietur, pingue, gustu amarum citra acorem. in 
sacris vino perfusum odoratius. nascitur et in 
Arabia Indiaque et Media ac Babylone. ahqui 
peraticum vocant ex Media advectum ; fragihus hoc 

36 et crustosius amariusque, at Indiciun umidius et 

^ Lacunam lan : {magnitudinem non excedens) ? coll. 
§ 23 Mayhoff. 



° Perhaps the text is to be emended: 'a poisonous plant 
not larger than a radish.' 

^ A resinous gum obtained from Balsamodendron Mukiil, 
a kind of myrrh ; for another view cf. Vol. VII, Index of Plants. 

24 



BOOK XII. XVIII. ^:^ \i\. 36 

XVIII. On the frontier of India is a race called the Treexof 
Arian, which has a thorn-bush that is valuable for the ^adj^mtto 
juice that it distils, resembling myrrh. It is difficult fndia. 
to get at this bush because it is hedged with thorns. 

In the same district there is also a poisonous bush- 
radish," with the leaf of a bay-tree, the smell of which 
attracts horses, and nearly robbed Alexander of his 
cavalry when he first cntered the region. This also 
happened in Gedrosia as well, on account of the 
foHage of the bay-trees ; and in the same district a 
thorn was reported the juice of which sprinkled on 
the eyes caused bhndness in all animals. There 
was also a plant with a very strong scent, that was 
full of tiny snakes whose bite was instantly fatal. 
Onesicritus reports that in the valleys of Hyrcania 
there are trees resembHng the fig, named occhus- 
trees, which for two hours every morning drip honey. 

XIX. Adjoining India is the Bactrian country, in Treex of 
which is produced the highly esteemed bdellium.* actnam. 
The tree is black in colour, and the size of the ohve ; 

its leaf resembles that of the oak and its fruit that of 
the wild fig. The subsistence of the fruit is Hke 
gum ; one name for it is brochos, another malacha, 
and another maldacos, while a black variety which is 
rolled up into cakes has the name of hadrobolos. It 
ought to be transparent Hke wax, to have a scent, to 
exude grease when crumbled, and to have a bitter 
taste, though without acidity. When used in reHgious 
ritual it is steeped in wine, which makes its scent 
more powerful. This tree is native to Arabia and 
India, and also to Media and Babylon. Some people 
give to the bdeUium imported from Media the name 
of peraticum ; this kind is more^^brittle and also harder 
and more bitter than the others, whereas the Indian 

voL. IV. T, 25 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

cumminosum. adulteratur amygdala nuce, cetera 
eius genera cortice et scordasti — ita vocatur arbor 
aemulo cummi. sed deprehenduntur — quod semel 
dixisse et in ceteros odores satis sit — odore, colore, 
pondere, gustu, igne. Bactrio nitor siccus multique 
candidi ungues, praeterea suum pondus quo gravius 
esse aut levius non debeat. pretium sincero in 
libras X iii. 

37 XX. Gentes supra dictas Persis attingit. Rubro 
mari, quod ibi Persicum sinum ^ vocavimus, longe in 
terram aestus agente mira arborum natura : namque 
erosae sale, invectis derelictisque similes, sicco litore 
radicibus nudis polyporum modo amplexae steriles 
harenas spectantur. eaedem mari adveniente flucti- 
bus pulsatae resistunt immobiles ; quin et pleno 
aestu operiunturtotae, adparetque rerum argumentis 
asperitate aquarum illas ali. magnitudo miranda 
est, species similis unedoni, pomum amygdahs extra, 
intus contortis nucleis. 

38 XXI. Tyros ^ insula in eodem sinu est, repleta silvis 
qua spectat orientem quaque et ipsa aestu maris 
perfunditur. magnitudo singuUs arboribus fici, flos 

^ sinum add. ? coll. vi 108 MayJwjf. 
2 F./. Tylos. 

" VI. 108. * Mangroves. 

' Now Bahrein, cf. VI. 148. 

26 



BOOK XII. XIX. 36-xxi. 38 

sort is moister, and gummy. Almonds are used to Trade 
adulterate Indian bdellium, but all the other sorts are "/"p^^^Mr* 
adulterated also with the bark of scordastum, that detecium. 
being the name of a tree that resembles the gum. 
But these adulterations can be detected — and it 
must be enough to state this once for all, to apply 
to all other perfumes as well — by smell, colour, 
weight, taste and the action of fire. The Bactrian 
bdellium is shiny and dry, and has a number 
of white spots Uke finger-nails ; and also it has a 
specific weight of its own and ought not to be 
heavier or Hghter than this. The price of pure 
bdellium is 3 denarii a pound. 

XX. Adjoining the races above mentioned is Treesof 
Persia. On the Red Sea, M'hich at this point we have '^""" 
called ^ the Persian Gulf, the tides of which are 
carried a long way inland, the trees* are of a re- 
markable nature ; for they are to be seen on the 
coast when the tide is out, embracing the barren 
sands with their naked roots hke polypuses, eaten 
away by the salt and looking like trunks that have 
been washed ashore and left high and dry. Also 
these trees when the tide rises remain motionless 
although beaten by the waves ; indeed at high 
water they are completely covered, and the evidence 

of the facts clearly proves that this species of tree 
is nourished by the brackish water. They are of 
marvellous size, and in appearance they resemble 
the strawberry-tree, but their fruit is Hke almonds 
outside and contains a spiral kernel. 

XXI. In the same ffulf is the island of Tyros,^ which ^'"«^* ''/'^* 

1 • I 1- -1 r ■ " 1 Persian 

is covered with lorests m tiie part lacmg east, where isiands: the 
it also is flooded by the sea at high tide. Each of the '^ttS^'Sem 
trees is the size of a fiff-tree ; they have a flower with ^rees suppiy- 

* -^ ingcioth. 

27 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

suavitate inenarrabili, pomum lupino simile, propter 
asperitatem intactum omnibus animalibus. eiusdem 
insulae ^ excelsiore suggestu lanigerae arbores alio 
modo quam Serum ; his folia infecunda quae, ni 
minora essent, vitium poterant videri. ferunt mali 
cotonei amplitudine cucurbitas quae maturitate 
ruptae ostendunt lanuginis pilas ex quibus vestes 

39 pretioso linteo faciunt. XXII. arborem ^ vocant gos- 
sypinum, fertiliore etiamTyrominore, quae distat xp. 
luba circa fruticem lanugines esse tradit, linteaque 
ea Indicis praestantiora, Arabiae autem arborem ^ ex 
qua vestes faciant cynas vocari, folio palmae simili. 
sic Indos suae arbores vestiunt. in Tyris autem et 
alia arbor floret albae violae specie, sed magnitudine 
quadruplici, sine odore, quod miremur in eo tractu. 

40 XXIII. Est et alia similis, foliosior tamen, roseique 
floris, quem noctu conprimens aperire incipit solis ex- 
ortu, meridie expandit : incolae dormire eimi dicunt. 
fert eadem insula et palmas oleasque ac vites et 
cum reliquo pomorum genere ficos. nulli arborum 
folia ibi decidunt; rigaturque gelidis fontibus et 
imbres accipit. 

1 <in) insulae ? Mayhoff. 

2 arborem edd. : arbores. 



« Cotton-trees. 'Serica, silk. 

28 



BOOK XII. XXI. 38-xxiii. 40 

an indescribably sweet seent and the fruit resembles 
a lupine, and is so prickly that no animal can touch it. 
On a more elevated plateau in the same island there 
are trees " that bear wool, but in a different manner to 
those ^ of the Chinese, as the leaves of these trees have 
no growth on them, and might be thought to be vine- 
leaves were it not that they are smaller ; but they 
bear gourds of the size of a quince, which when they 
ripen burst open and disclose balls of down from 
which an expensive linen for clothing is made. 
XXII. Their name for this tree is the gossypinus ; 
it also grows in greater abundance on the smaller 
island of Tyros, which is ten miles distant from the 
other. Juba says that this shrub has a woolly down 
growing round it, the fabric made from which is 
superior to the Unen of India. He also says that 
there is an Arabian tree called the cynas from which 
cloth is made, which has foliage resembhng a palm- 
leaf. Similarly the natives of India are provided with 
clothes by their own trees. But in the Tyros islands 
there is also another tree with a blossom like a 
white violet but four times as large ; it has no scent, 
which may well surprise us in that region of the 
world. 

XXIII. There is also another tree which resembles An evergreen 
this one but has more foHage and a rose-coloured "^^^* 
blossom, which it closes at nightfall and begins to 
open at sunrise, unfolding it fully at noon : the 
natives speak of it as going to sleep. The same 
island also produces palm-trees, oHves and vines, as 
well as figs and all the other kinds of fruit-trees. 
None of the trees there sheds its leaves; and the 
island is watered by cold springs, and has a con- 
siderable rainfall. 

29 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

41 XXIV. Vicina iis Arabia flagitat quandam gene- 
rum distinctionem, quoniam fructus constant radice, 
frutice, cortice, suco, lacrima, ligno, surculo, flore, 
folio, pomo. 

XXV. Radix et folium Indis in maximo pretio. 
radix costi gustu fervens, odore eximia, frutice alias 
inutili. primo statim introitu amnis Indi in Patale 
insula duo eius genera, nigrum et quod melius 
candicans : pretium in libras X vs. 

42 XXVI. De folio nardi plura dici par est ut principali 
iii unguentis. frutex est gravi et crassa radice sed 
brevi ac nigra fragilique, quamvis pingui, situm 
redolente, ut cypiros, aspero sapore, folio parvo 
densoque. cacumina in aristas se spargunt, ideo 
gemina dote nardi spicas ac folia celebrant. alterum 
eius genus apud Gangen nascens damnatur in totum 

43 ozaenitidos nomine, virus redolens. adulteratur et 
pseudonardo herba quae ubique nascitur crassiore 
atque latiore folio et colore languido in candidum 
vergente, item sua radice permixta ponderis causa et 
cummi spumaque argenti aut stibi ac cypiro cypirive 
cortice. sincerum quidem levitate deprehenditur et 



° The modern Saussurea lappa. 

'' The name may really be from Ozene (Ujjain), a toMTi on tbe 
trade-route between the Ganges and the west coast of India. 

30 



BOOK XII. XXIV. 41-xxvr. 43 

XXIV. The country neighbouring on these islands, utuuy trees 
Arabia, calls for some detailed account of its products ^^ ^'■^*'"- 
— inasmuch as the parts of trees that are utilized 
include the root, the trunk, the bark, the juice, the 

gum, the wood, the shoots, the blossom, the leaves 
and the fruit. 

XXV. In India a root and a leaf are held in the Thecostus 
highest value. The root is that of the costus," which °f ^'^''^' 
has a burning taste and an exquisite scent, though 

in other respects the plant is of no use. In the 
island of Patale just in the mouth of the river 
Indus, there are two kinds of costus plant, the black 
and the white ; the latter is the better ; it sells at 
5J denarii a pound. 

XXVI. About the leaf, which is that of the nard, ^ard. 
it is proper to speak at greater length, as it holds 

a foremost place among perfumes. The nard is a 
shrub, the root of which is heavy and thick but 
short and black, and although oily, brittle ; it has a 
musty smell hke the gladiolus, and an acrid taste ; the 
leaves are small, and grow in clusters. The shoots of 
the nard sprout into ears, and consequently both the 
spikes and the leaves of the nard are famous — a two- 
fold product. Another kind of nard growing by the 
Ganges is entirely ruled out by its name, 'putrid* 
nard,' having a poisonous smell. Nard is also 
adulterated with a plant called bastard nard, which 
grows everywhere, and has a thicker and broader 
leaf and a sickly colour inchning to white ; and also 
by being mixed with its own root to increase the 
weight, and wuth gum and sih^er-spume or antimony 
and gladiolus or husk of gladiolus. Unadulterated 
nard can be detected by its hght weight and its 
ruddy colour and sweet scent and particularly by 

31 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

colore rufo odorisque suavitate et gustu maxime 
siccante os sapore iucundo. 

Pretium spicae in libras X c. folii divisere annonam 

44 amplitudine : hadrosphaerum vocatur maioribus 
pilulis X xxxx ; quod minore folio est meso- 
sphaerum appellatur, emitur X lx ; laudatissimum 
microsphaerum e minimis foUis, pretium eius X 
Lxxv. odoris gratia omnibus, maior recentibus. 

45 nardo colos, si inveteravit, nigrior mehori.^ in nostro 
orbe proxime laudatur Syriacum, mox Galhcum, 
tertio loco Creticum, quod ahqui agrion vocant, ahi 
phun, foho olusatri, caule cubitah, geniculato, in 
purpuram ^ albicante, radice obhqua vihosaque et 
imitante avium pedes. baccaris vocatur nardum 
rusticum, de quo dicemus inter flores. sunt autem 
omnia ea herbae praeter Indicum. ex iis Gahicum 
et cum radice vehitur abluiturque vino, siccatur in 
umbra, ahigatur fascicuhs in charta, non muUum ab 
Indico differens, Syriaco tamen levius. pretium 

46 X III. in his probatio una ne sint fragiha et arida 
potius quam sicca foha. cum Gahico nardo semper 
nascitur herba quae hirculus vocatur a gravitate 
odoris et simihtudine, qua maxime aduheratur; 
distat quod sine cauhculo est et quod minoribus fohis, 
quodque radicis neque amarae neque odoratae. 

1 Mueller : nigriori melior. 

2 lan : purpura. 

" The three plants classed as nards that follow are really 
valerians ; for a fuller discussion of these plants, see Vol. VII, 
Index of Plants, s.v. Baccaris and Nardus. 

* Greek, ' wild ' and ' self-sown.' 

32 



BOOK XII. XXVI. 43-46 

its taste, which dries up the mouth and lcaves a 
pleasant Havour. 

The priee of nard is 100 denarii a pound. The 
nard-leaf market is graded according to the size of 
the leaf : the kind called hadrosphaerum in larger 
pills costs 40 denarii ; the smaller-leaved sort called 
mesosphaerum sells at 60 denarii ; and the most highly 
spoken of, microsphaerum, is made of the smallest 
leaves and its price is 75 denarii. All the kinds 
have an agreeable scent, stronger when they are 
fresh. The betler nard has a blacker colour, if it 
is old when gathered. In our part of the world * 
the next most highly praised kind is the Syrian, 
then that from Gaul, and in the third place is the 
Cretan, which some call agrion and others phun * ; 
it has a leaf hke that of alexanders, a stalk 18 inches 
long, knotted and coloured whitish purple, and a 
crooked hairy root resembling birds' claws. Wild 
nard is called baccaris; we shall speak about it xx. 135. 
among flowers. AU of these kinds of nard, however, 
are herbs except the Indian. Among them the 
GaUic kind is plucked with the root as well, and washed 
in wine, dried in a shady place, and done up with 
paper in small parcels ; it does not differ much from 
the Indian nard, but it is lighter in weight than the 
Syrian. Its price is 3 denarii. In the case of these 
varieties the only way to test them is that the leaves 
must not be brittle and parched instead of merely 
dry. With GalHc nard there always grows the herb 
called ' little goat ' because of its offensive smell, 
Hke the smeU of a goat ; it is very much employed 
to adulterate nard, from which it is distinguished 
by having no stem and smaUer leaves, and by its 
root, which is not bitter and also has no smeH. 

32, 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

47 XXVII. Nardi vim habet et asaruin, quod et ipsum 
aliqui silvcstre nardum appellant. est autem hederae 
foUis, rotundioribus tantum molUoribusque,^ flore 
purpureo, radice GaUici nardi, semine acinorum 
saporis caUdi ac vinosi, in montibus umbrosis bis 
anno florens. optimum in Ponto, proximum in 
Phrygia, tertium in lUyrico. foditur cum foUa 
mittere incipit et in sole siccatur, celeriter situm 
trahens ac senescens. inventa nuper et in Thracia 
herba est cuius foUa nihil ab Indico nardo distant. 

48 XXVIII. Amomi uva in usu est ex^ Indica vite 
labrusca, aut ^ ut aUi existimavere, frutice tortuoso * 
palmi altitudine, carpiturque cum radice, manipu- 
latim leniter conponitur, protinus fragile. laudatur 
quam maxime Punici maU foUis simile nec rugosis, 
colore rufo. secunda bonitas paUido, herbaceum 
peius, pessumumque candidum, quod et vetustate 

49 evenit. pretium uvae in Ubras X lx, friato vero 
amomo X xliix. nascitur et in Armeniae parte quae 
vocatur Otene et in Media et in Ponto. adulteratur 
foUis punici ^ et cummi Uquido, ut cohaereat con- 
volvatque se in uvae modum. 

Est et quae vocatur amomis, minus venosa atque 
durior ac minus odorata, quo apparet aut aUud esse 
aut coUigi inmaturum. 

^ An minoribusque ? coll. Dioscoride Detlefsen. 

2 ex add. Dalec. 

^ aut add. lan. 

^ MayJioff colL § 49 : montuoso aut myrtuoso. 

^ Mayhoff: Punicis. 

" Both amomum and cardamomum (now callcd cardamom) 
refor to Eleitaria cardamomum. 

* The plant really grew much further east, but much of it 
was imported through Armenia and Pontus. 

34 



BOOK XII. XXVII, 47-xxviii. 49 

XX\ II. Hazelwort also has the property of nard, iiazeiwort. 
indeed some people actually call it ' wild nard.' It 
has the leaves of the ivy, only rounder and softer, a 
purple flower, the root of GalHc nard, and seed Hke 
grape-stones, which has a warm taste with a flavour 
of wine. On shady mountains it flowers twice a 
year. The best variety grows in Pontus, the next 
best in Phrygia and the third in Illyricum. When it 
begins to shed its leaves it is dug up and dried in the 
sun, as it quickly becomes mouldy and loses its 
strength. A plant has also lately been found in 
Thrace the leaves of which do not differ at afl from 
the Indian nard. 

XX\TII. The clustered amomum" is much in use ; Anumum. 
it is obtained from the Indian wild-vine, or as other 
people have supposed from a twisted shrub a hand 
high, and it is plucked with its root and then gently 
pressed together into bundles, as it is Hable to 
break at once. The kind most highly spoken of 
is the one with leaves Hke those of the pomegranate 
and devoid of wrinkles, coloured red. The second 
best kind is of a pale colour ; the grass-coloured one 
is not so good, and the white kind is the worst; 
it also goes white with age. The price of clustered 
amomum is 60 denarii a pound, but as dust it fetches 
only 48 denarii. It grows in the part of Armenia 
caHed Otene, and also in Media and in Pontus.* 
It is adulterated with the leaves of the pome- 
granate and with Hquid gum to make the leaves stick 
together and form a cluster Hke a bunch of grapes. 

There is also another substance caHed amomis, Amomu. 
which is not so fuH of veins and is harder and has 
less scent, showing that it is either a different plant 
or amomum that has been gathered unripe. 

35 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

50 XXIX. Simile his et nomine et frutice cardamo- 
mum, semine oblongo. metitur eodem modo in 
Arabia. quattuor eius genera: viridissimum ac 
pingue, acutis angulis contumax frianti — hoc maxume 
laudatur, proximum e rufo candicans, tertium brevius 
atque nigrius, peius tamen varium et facile tritu 
odorisque parvi, qui in vero ^ costo vicinus esse debet. 
hoc et apud Medos nascitur. pretium optumi in 
libras X iii. 

51 XXX. Cinnamomo proxima gentilitas erat, ni prius 
Arabiae divitias indicari conveniret causasque quae 
cognomen illi felicis ac beatae dedere. principalia 
ergo in illa tus atque murra ; haec et cum Trogodytis 
communis, tura praeter Arabiam nullis, ac ne 

52 Arabiae quidem universae. in medio eius fere sunt 
Astramitae, pagus Sabaeorum, capite regni Sabota in 
monte excelso, a quo octo mansionibus distat regio 
eorum turifera Sariba appellata — hoc significare 
Graeci mysterium dicunt. spectat ortus solis aestivi, 
undique rupibus invia et a dextera mari scopulis 

53 inaccesso. id solum e rubro lacteimi traditur. 
silvarum longitudo est schoeni xx, latitudo dimidium 

^ in vero ? Mayhojf : vero aut verus. 



» See § 48 note. 

* Really it grew further east, but it was imported through 
Media and Arabia, 

* Frankincense is obtained from speeies of Boswdlia, myrrh 
from Balsamodendron myrrha. 



36 



BOOK XII. XXIX. 50-xxx. 53 

XXIX. Resembling these substances both in name Cardamom. 
and in the shrub that produces it is cardamomum," 

the seeds of which are oblong in shape. It is gathered 
in Arabia, in the same manncr as amomum. It has 
four varieties : one very green and oily, with sharp 
corners and awkward to crumble — this is the kind 
most highly spoken of — the next sort a whitish red, 
the third shorter and of a colour nearer black, while 
an inferior kind is mottled and easily friable, and has 
httle scent — in the true kind the scent ought to 
be near to that of costus. Cardamomum also grows 
in the country of the Medes.* The price of the best 
sort is 3 denarii a pound. 

XXX. Next in affinity to cardamomum would Frank- 
have come cinnamomum, were it not convenient '"*^^^- 
first to catalogue the riches of Arabia and the 
reasons that have given it the names of Happy 

and Blessed. The chief products of Arabia then 
are frankincense and myrrh '^ ; the latter it shares 
also with the Cave-dwellers' Country, but no 
country beside Arabia produces frankincense, and 
not even the whole of Arabia. x\bout in the middle 
of that country are the Astramitae, a district of 
the Sabaei, the capital of their realm being Sabota, 
situated on a lofty mountain ; and eight days' 
journey from Sabota is a frankincense-producing 
district belonging to the Sabaei called Sariba — 
according to the Greeks the name means ' secret 
mystery.' The region faces north-east, and is 
surrounded by impenetrable rocks, and on the right 
hand side bordered by a seacoast with inaccessible 
chffs. The soil is reported to be of a milky white 
colour with a tinge of red. The forests measure 20 
sckoeni in length and half that distance in breadth — 

37 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

eius. schoenus patet Eratosthenis ratione stadia 
XL, hoc est p. V, aliqui xxxii stadia singulis schoe- 
nis dedere. attoUuntur coUes alti, decurruntque et 
in plana arbores sponte natae. terram argillosam 

54 esse convenit, raris fontibus ac nitrosis. attingunt et 
Minaei, pagus alius, per quos evehitur tus ^ uno 
tramite angusto. hi primi commercium turis fecere 
maximeque exercent, a quibus et Minaeum dictum 
est : nec praeterea Arabum alii turis arborem vide- 
runt,2 ac ne horum quidem omnes, feruntque Tn non 
amphus esse famiUarum quae ius per successiones id 
sibi vindicent, sncros vocari ob id, nec uUo congressu 
feminarum funerumque, cum incidant eas arbores 
ut^ metant, poUui, atque ita reUgione merces augeri. 
quidam promiscuum tus iis popuUs esse tradunt in 
silvis, aUi per vices annorum dividi. 

55 XXXI. Nec arboris ipsius quae sit facies constat. 
res in Arabia gessimus et Romana arma in magnam 
partem eius penetravere, Gaius etiam Caesar Augusti 
fiUus inde gloriam petiit, nec tamen ab uUo, quod equi- 
dem sciam, Latino arborum earum tradita est facies. 

56 Graecorum exempla variant : aUi foUo piri, minore 

^ tus add. Rackham. 
2 Rackham: vident. 
' Rackham: aut. 

38 



BOOK XII. XXX. 53-xxxi. 56 

by the calculation of Eratosthenes a schoeiius measures 

40 furlongs, that is five miles, but some authorities 

have made the schoenus 32 furlongs. There are hills 

rising to a great height, with natural forests on 

them running right down to the level ground. It 

is generally agreed that the soil is clay, and that 

there are few springs and these charged with alkah. 

Adjacent to the Astramitae is another district, 

the Minaei, through whose territory the transit for 

the export of the frankincense is along one narrow^ Thc frank- 

track. It was these people who originated the trade '"^^"^^'^«'^^' 

and who chiefly practise it, and from them the per- 

fume takes the name of ' Minaean ' ; none of the 

Arabs beside these have ever seen an incense-tree, 

and not even all of these, and it is said that there are 

not more than 3000 famihes who retain the right of 

trading in it as a hereditary property, and that conse- 

quently the members of these famiUes are called sacred, 

and are not allowed to be polluted by ever meeting 

women or funeral processions when they are engaged 

in making incisions in the trees in order to obtain the 

frankincense, and that in this way the price of the com- 

modity is increased owing to scruples of rehgion. Some 

persons report that the frankincense in the forests be- 

longs to all these peoples in common, but others state 

that it is shared out among them in yearly turns. 

XXXI. Nor is there agreement in regard to the ap- The frank- 
pearance of the incense-tree itself. We have carried ^^^^^^^''^^- 
on operations in Arabia, and the arms of Rome have 
penetrated into a large part of it; indeed, Gaius 
Caesar, son of Augustus, won great renown from the 
country; yet no Latin writer, so far as I know, has 
described the appearance of this tree. The descrip- 
tions given by the Greeks vary : some have stated 

39 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

dumtaxat et herbidi coloris, prodidere ; alii lentisco 
similem subrutilo folio; quidam terebinthum esse, 
et hoc visum Antigono regi allato frutice. luba rex 
iis volurainibus quae scripsit ad C. Caesarem Augusti 
filium ardentem fama Arabiae tradit contorti esse 
caudicis, ramis aceris maxime Pontici, sucum amygda- 
lae modo emittere, talesque in Carmania apparere et 
in Aegypto satas studio Ptolomaeorum regnantium. 

57 cortice lauri esse constat, quidam et folium simile 
dixere ; talis certe fuit arbor Sardibus, nam et Asiae 
reges serendi curam habuerunt. qui mea aetate 
legati ex Arabia venerunt omnia incertiora fecerunt, 
quod iure miremur, virgis etiam turis ad nos com- 
mt^antibus, quibus credi potest matrem quoque 
teretem enodi fruticare trunco. 

58 XXXII. Meti semel anno solebat minore occasione 
vendendi ; iam quaestus alteram vindemiam adfert. 
prior atque naturalis vindemia circa canis ortum fla- 
grantissimo aestu, incidentibus qua maxime videatur 
esse praegnans tenuissimusque tendi cortex ; laxatur 
40 



BOOK XII. XXXI. 56-\\xii. 58 

that it has the leaf of a pear-tree, only smaller and 
of a grass-green colour ; others that it resembles the 
mastich and has a reddish leaf ; some that it is a kind 
of terebinth, and that this was the view of King 
Antigonus, to whom a plant was brought. King 
Juba in his volumes dedicated to Gaius Caesar, son of 
Augustus, whose imagination was fired by the fame 
of Arabia, states that the tree has a twisted stem 
and branches closely resembling those of the Pontic 
maple and that it gives a juice like that of the 
almond ; he says that trees of this description are to 
be seen in Carmania and in Egypt, where they were 
introduced under the influence of the Ptolemies when 
they reigned there. It is well known that it has the 
bark of a bay-tree, and some have said that the leaf 
is also like that of the bay ; at all events that was the 
case with the tree when it was grown at Sardis — for 
the Kings of Asia also interested themselves in plant- 
ing it. The ambassadors who have come to Rome 
from Arabia in my time have made all these matters 
still more uncertain, which may well surprise us, 
seeing that even some sprigs of the incense-tree find 
their way to Rome, on the evidence of which we 
may beheve that the parent tree also is smooth and 
tapering and that it puts out its shoots from a trunk 
that is free from knots. 

XXXII. It used to be the custom, when there were seasom and 
fewer opportunities of seUing frankincense, to gather ^i^ecHi^ 
it only once a year, but at the present day trade intro- frankincense. 
duces a second harvesting. The earUer and natural 
gathering takes place at about the rising of the Dog- 
star, when the summer heat is most intense. They 
make an incision where the bark appears to be fuUest 
of juice and distended to its thinnest ; and the bark is 

41 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

hic plaga, non adimitur. inde prosilit spuma pinguis ; 
haec concreta densatur, ubi loci natura poscat tegete 
palmea excipiente, aliubi area circumpavita. purius 
illo modo, sed hoc ponderosius ; quod in arbore 

69 haesit ferro depectitur, ideo corticosum. silva divisa 
certis portionibus mutua innocentia tuta est : nemo- 
que ^ saucias arbores custodit, nemo furatur alteri. 
at, Hercules, Alexandriae, ubi tura intei-polantur, 
nulla satis custodit diligentia officinas ! subUgaria 
signantur opifici, persona additur capiti densusve 
reticulus, nudi emittuntur : tanto minus fidei apud 

60 hos 2 poma ^ quam apud illos silvae habent. autumno 
legitur ab aestivo partu : hoc purissimum, candidum. 
secunda vindemia est vere, ad eam hieme corticibus 
incisis ; rufum hoc exit, nec conparandum priori. 
illud carfiathum, hoc dathiathum vocant. creditur et 
novellae arboris candidius esse, sed veteris odoratius ; 



nemoque ? Mayhojf : neque. 

Rackham: nos. 

Dellefsen : poena (penates Mueller), 



42 



BOOK XII. XXXII. 58-60 

loosened with a blow, but not removed. From 
the incision a greasy foam spurts out, which co- 
agulates and thickens, being received on a mat of 
palm-leaves where the nature of the ground requires 
this, but in other places on a space round the tree 
that has been rammed hard. The frankincense 
collected in the latter way is in a purer state, but 
the former method produces a heavier weight ; while 
the residue adhering to the tree is scraped off with 
an iron tool, and consequently contains fragments of 
bark. The forest is divided up into definite portions, 
and owing to the mutual honesty of the owners is 
free from trespassing, and though nobody keeps guard 
over the trees after an incision has been made, 
nobody steals from his neighbour. At Alexandria, on 
the other hand, where the frankincense is worked up 
for sale, good heavens ! no vigilance is sufficient to 
guard the factories. A seal is put upon the work- 
men's aprons, they have to wear a mask or a net 
with a close mesh on their heads, and before they 
are allowed to leave the premises they have to take 
off all their clothes : so much less honesty is dis- 
played with regard to the produce with them than 
as to the forests with the growers. The frankin- 
cense from the summer crop is collected in autumn ; 
this is the purest kind, bright white in colour. The 
second crop is harvested in the spring, cuts having 
been made in the bark during the winter in 
preparation for it ; the juice that comes out on this 
occasion is reddish, and not to be compared with 
the former taking, the name for which is carfiathum, 
the other being called dathiathum. Also the juice 
produced by a sapUng is beheved to be whiter, but 
that from an older tree has more scent. Some 

43 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

quidam et in insulis melius putant gigni, luba in 
insulis negat nasci. 

61 Quod ex eo rotunditate guttae pependit masculum 
vocamus, ciun alias non fere mas vocetur ubi non 
sit femina; religioni tributum ne sexus alter usur- 
paretur. masculum aliqui putant a specie testium 
dictum. praecipua autem gratia est mammoso, ciun 
haerente lacrima priore consecuta alia miscuit se. 
singula haec manum inplere soUta invenio, cum 
minore deripiendi aviditate lentius nasci liceret. 

62 Graeci stagonian et atomum tali modo .'ippellant, 
minorem autem orobian; micas concussu elisas 
mannam vocamus. etiamnum tamen inveniuntur 
guttae quae tertiam partem minae, hoc est xxviii 
denariorum pondus, aequent. Alexandro Magno in 
pueritia sine parsimonia tura ingerenti aris paeda- 
gogus Leonides dixerat ut illo modo cum devicisset 
turiferas gentes supplicaret ; at ille Arabiae potitus 
ture onustam navem misit ei exhortatus^ ut large 
deos adoraret. 

63 Tus coUectum Sabotam camehs convehitur, porta 
ad id una patente ; degredi via capital reges ^ fecere. 

^ V.I. misit et exhortatus est. 
^ V.l. leges. 

" Under the Attic system ascribed to Solon the mtm weighed 
440 grammes; the 77iina contained 100 drachmae, Bbnd drachma 
is represented in Latin by denarius, but Pliny here makes the 
mina equal to 84 denarii. 

* As a matter of fact all that Alexander did was to have 
Arabia partly circumnavigated. 

44 



BOOK XII. XXXII. 60-63 

people also think that a better kind is produced on 
islands, but Juba says that no incense grows on 
islands at all. 

Frankincense that hangs suspended in a globular j^"^ . 
drop we call male frankincense, although in other 
connexions the term ' male ' is not usually employed 
where there is no female ; but it is said to have been 
due to rehgious scruple that the name of the other 
sex was not empioyed in this case. Some people 
think that male frankincense is so called from its 
resemblance to the testes. The frankincense most 
esteemed, however, is the breast-shaped, formed 
when, while a previous drop is still hanging suspended, 
another one following unites with it. I fmd it 
recorded that one of these lumps used to be a whole 
handful, in the days when men's eagerness to pluck 
them was less greedy and they were allowed to 
form more slowly. The Greek name for frankincense 
formed in this manner is * drop-incense ' or ' soHd 
incense,' and for the smaller kind * chick-pea 
incense ' ; the fragments knocked olf by striking the 
tree we call manna. Even at the present day, how- 
ever, drops are found that weigh as much as a third 
of a mina,^ that is 28 denarii. Alexander the Great 
in his boyhood was heaping frankincense on the altars 
in lavish fashion, when his tutor Leonides told him 
that he might worship the gods in that manner when 
he had conquered the frankincense-producing races ; 
but when Alexander had won^ Arabia he sent Leonides 
a ship with a cargo of frankincense, with a message 
charging him to worship the gods without any stint. 

Frankincense after being collected is conveyed to Transport of 
Sabota on camels, one of the gates of the city' heing Z7f!^'Yfedt' 
opened for its admission ; the kings have made it a t^anean. 

45 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

ibi decumas deo quem vocant Sabin mensura, non 
pondere, sacerdotes capiunt, nec ante mercari licet ; 
inde inpensae publicae tolerantur, nam et benigne 
certo dierum numero deus hospites pascit. evehi 
non potest nisi per Gebbanitas, itaque et horum regi 

64 penditur vectigal. caput eorum Thomna abest a 
Gaza nostri Utoris in ludaea oppido |xiiii| lxxxvii 
D ^ p., quod dividitur in mansiones camelorum lxv. 
sunt et quae sacerdotibus dantur portiones scribisque 

65 regum certae, sed praeter hos et custodes satellitesque 
et ostiarii et ministri populantur: iam quacumque 
iter est aliubi pro aqua aUubi pro pabulo aut pro 
mansionibus variisque portoriis pendunt, ut sumptus 
in singulas camelos X dclxxxviii ad nostrum 
litus coUigat, iterumque imperii nostri pubUcanis 
penditur. itaque optimi turis Ubra X vi pretium 
habet, secundi X v, tertii X iii. probatur- candore 
ac pinguedine,^fragiUtate, carbone ut statim ardeat, 
item ne dentem recipiat potiusque in micas frietur. 
aduUeratur apud nos resinae candidae gemma per- 
quam simiU, sed deprehenditur quibus dictum est 
modis. 

^ Xumerus varie traditur. 

2 probatur . . . frietur hic Warmingt07i : infra post modis. 

^ ac pinguedine ? Mayhoff : amplitudine. 



" The number is variously given in the MSS. ; the reading 
adopted works out at daily stages of nearly 23 Roman miles — 
these were a little shorter than ours. 

46 



BOOK XII. XXXII. 63-65 

capital offence for camels so laden to turn aside froin 
the high road. At Sabota a tithe estimated by 
measure and not by weight is taken by the priests 
for the god they call Sabis, and the incense is not 
allowed to be put on the market until this has been 
done ; this tithe is drawn on to defray what is a 
pubHc expenditure, for actually on a fixed number of 
days the god graciously entertains guests at a 
banquet. It can only be exported through the 
country of the Gebbanitae, and accordingly a tax 
is paid on it to the king of that people as well. 
Their capital is Thomna, which is 14871 ^* miles 
distant from the town of Gaza in Judaea on the 
Mediterranean coast ; the journey is divided into 
65 stages with halts for camels. Fixed portions of 
the frankincense are also given to the priests and the 
king's secretaries, but beside these the guards and 
their attendants and the gate-keepers and servants 
also have their pickings : indeed all along the route 
they keep on paying, at one place for water, at 
another for fodder, or the charges for lodging at the 
halts, and the various octrois ; so that expenses 
mount up to 688 denarii per camel before the Medi- 
terranean coast is reached ; and then again payment 
is made to the customs officers of our empire. Conse- 
quently the price of the best frankincense is 6, of the QuaUtiesof 
second best 5, and the third best 3 denarii a pound. /~"'^'"<^^^- 
It is tested by its whiteness and stickiness, its 
fragihty and its readiness to catch fire from a hot 
coal ; and also it should not give to pressure of 
the teeth, and should rather crumble into grains. 
Among us it is adulterated with drops of white resin, 
which closely resemble it, but the fraud can be 
detected by the means specified. ^ ^^* 

47 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

66 XXXI IL Murram in iisdem silvis permixta arbore ^ 
nasci tradidere aliqui, plures separatim ; quippe multis 
locis Arabiae gignitur, ut apparebit in generibus. con- 
vehitur et ex insulis ^ laudata, petuntque eam etiam 
ad Trogodytas Sabaei transitu maris. sativa quoque 
provenit multum silvestri praelata. gaudet rastris 
atque ablaqueationibus, melior radice refrigerata. 

67 XXXIV. Arborialtitudoadquinquecubita,necsine 
spina, caudice duro et intorto, crassiore quam turis, 
et ab radice etiam quam reliqua sui parte. corticem 
levem similemque unedoni, scabrum alii spinosumque 
dixere, folium olivae verum crispius et aculeatum, 
luba olusatri. aliqui similem iunipero, scabriorem 
tantum spinisque horridam, folio rotundiore, sed 
sapore iuniperi. nec non fuere qui e turis arbore 
utrumque nasci mentirentur. 

68 XXXV. Incidunturbisetipsaeisdemquetemporibus, 
sed a radice usque ad ramorum ^ qui valent. sudant 
autem sponte prius quani incidantur stacten dictam,^ 

* V.I. permixta arborem. 

2 Gelen : iluis aut silvis. 

^ ramorum ? Mayhoff : ramum aul aram. 

^ V.l. stacte dieta. 



« In North-east Africa. See § 28 and note. 



48 



BOOK XII. xxxiii. 66-xxxv. 68 

XXXIII. Some authorities have stated that myrrh Myrrh: us 
is the product of a tree growing in the same forests locaiuies. 
among the frankincense-trees, but the majority say 

that it grows separately ; and in fact it occurs in 
many places in Arabia, as will appear when we deal ^ 
with its varieties. A kind highly spoken of is also ^^ 
imported from islands, and the Sabaei even cross 
the sea to the Cave-dwellers' Country^ to procure 
it. Also a cultivated variety is produced which is 
much preferred to the wild kind. The plant enjoys 
being rakcd and having the soil round it loosened, 
as it is the better for having its roots cool. 

XXXIV. The tree grows to a height of nearly eight 
feet; it has thorns on it, and the trunk is hard and 
twisted, and thicker than that of the frankincense-tree, 
and even thicker at the root than in the remaining 
part of it. Authorities state that the bark is smooth 
and resembles that of the strawberry-tree, and others 
that it is rough and prickly ; and they say that the 
leaf is that of the oUve, but more wrinkled and with 
sharp points — though Juba says it is Hke that of the 
alexanders. Some say that it resembles the juniper, 
only that it is rougher and bristhng with thorns, and 
that the leaf is rounder but tastes hke juniper. Also 
there have been writers who have falsely asserted 
that the frankincense-tree produces myrrh as well as 
frankincense. 

XXXV. The myrrh-producing tree also is tapped 
twice a year at the same seasons as the frankincense- 
tree,but in its case the incisions are made all the way up 
from the root to those of the branches that are strong 
enough to bear it. But before it is tapped the tree 
exudes of its own accord a juice called stacte, which is 
the most higlily valued of all myrrh. Next after 

49 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

cui nulla praefertur. ab hac sativa, et in silvestri 
quoque melior, aestiva. non dant ex murra portiones 
deo, quoniam et apud alios nascitur; regi tamen 
Gebbanitarum quartas partes eius pendunt. cetero 
passim a vulgo coemptam in folles conferciunt, 
nostrique unguentarii digerunt haud difficulter 

69 odoris atque pinguedinis argumentis. genera com- 
plura: Trogodytica silvestrium prima, sequens 
Minaea, in qua et Astramitica est et Gebbanitica et 
Ausaritis Gebbanitarum regno, tertia Dianitis, 
quarta collaticia, quinta Sambracena a civitate regni 
Sabaeorum mari proxima, sexta quam Dusiritim 
vocant. est et candida uno tantum loco, quae in 
Mesalum oppidum confertur. probatur Trogodytica 
pinguedine et quod aspectu aridior est sordidaque 
ac barbara sed acrior ceteris. Sambracena praedi- 

70 catur ^ ante alias hilaris, sed viribus tenuis. in 
plenum autem probatio est minutis glaebis nec ro- 
tundis in concretu albicantis suci et tabescentis, 
utque fracta candidos ungues habeat, gustu leniter 
amara. secunda bonitas intus variae, pessima quae 
intus nigra, peior si etiam foris. 

^ Sic vel praedictis (caret vitiis) Detlefsen: praedictis 
(praedicta Mayhuff). 

50 



BOOK XII. XXXV. 68 70 

this comes the cultivated kind, and also the better 
variety of the wild kind, the one tapped in summer. 
No tithes are given to a god from myrrh, as it also 
grows in other countries ; however, the growers have 
to pay a quarter of the yield to the king of the Geb- 
banitae. For the rest it is bought up all over the 
district from the common people and packed into 
leather bags ; and our perfumiers have no difficulty 
in distinguishing the different sorts by the evi- 
dence of the scent and consistency. There are 
a great many varieties, the first among the wild Vari^ies of 
kinds being the Cave-dweller myrrh, next the ' 
Minaean, which includes the Astramitic, Gebbanitic 
and Ausaritic from the kingdom of the Gebbanitae ; 
the third quahty is tlie Dianite, the fourth a 
mixture from various sources, the fifth the Sam- 
bracene from a seaboard state in the kingdom of 
the Sabaei, and the sixth the one called Dusirite. 
There is also a white kind found in one place only, 
which is brought into the town of Mesalum for sale. 
The Cave-dweller kind is distinguished by its thickness 
and because it is rather dry and dusty and foreign in 
appearance, but has a stronger scent than the other 
sorts. The Sambracene variety is advertised as sur- 
passing other kinds in its agreeable quahty, but it 
has not a strong scent, Broadly speaking, however, 
the proof of goodness is given by its being in small 
pieces of irregular shape, forming in the sohdifying 
of the juice as it turns white and dries up, and in 
its showing white marks hke finger-nails when it is 
broken, and having a shghtly bitter taste. The 
second best kind is mottled inside, and the worst 
is the one that is black inside ; and if it is black 
outside as well it is of a still inferior quahty. 

51 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

Pretia ex occasione ementium varia, stactae a X iii 
ad X L, sativae summum X xi, Erythraeae xvi — 
hanc volunt Arabicam intellegi — Trogodyticae 
nucleo XVI s, ei vero quam odorariam vocant, xii.^ 

71 adulteratur lentisci glaebis et cummi, item cucumeris 
suco amaritudinis causa, sicut ponderis spuma argenti. 
reUqua vitia deprehenduntur sapore, cummis dente 
lentescens. fallacissime autem adulteratur Indica 
murra, quae ibi de quadam spina colligitur ; hoc 
solum peius India adfert, facili distinctione, tanto 
deterior est. 

72 XXXVI. Ergo transit in mastichen quae et ex aha 
spina fit in India itemque in Arabia ; lainam vocant. 
sed mastiche quoque gemina est, quoniam et in Asia 
Graeciaque reperitur herba a radice folia emittens 
et carduum similem malo, seminis plenum ac lacrimae 
quae erumpit incisa parte siunma, vix ut dinosci 
possit a mastiche vera. nec non et tertia in Ponto 
est, bitumini simihor, laudatissima autem Chia 
candida, cuius pretium in Ubras X x, nigrae vero X ii. 
Chia e lentisco traditur gigni cummium modo. 
aduUeratur ut tura resina, 

^ Numeri hi omnes varie traduntur. 



" This presumably means that the Indian variety is hardly 
distinguishable from mastich, but it has been taken to mean 
that it actually degenerates into mastich. 

52 



BOOK XII. XXXV. 70-xxxvi. 72 

The prices vary with the supply of buyers ; that of Prices oj 
stacte ranges from 3 to 50 denarii a pound, whereas the '"^"^ ' 
top price for cultivated myrrh is 11 denarii and for 
Erythrean 16 — this kind is passed off as Arabian — 
and for the kernel of Cave-dweller 16J, but for the 
variety called scented myrrh 12. Myrrh is adulter- 
ated with lumps of lentisk and with gum, and also 
with cucumber juice to give it a bitter taste, as it is 
with Htharge of siher to increase its weight. The 
rest of the impurities can be detected by taste, 
and gum by its sticking to the teeth. But the 
adulteration most difficult to detect is that prac- 
tised in the case of Indian myrrh, which is col- 
lected in India from a certain thorn-bush ; this is the 
only commodity imported from India that is of '^ 
worse quaUty than that of other countries — indeed 
it is easily distinguished because it is so very 
inferior. 

XXXVI. Consequently Indian myrrh passes over MasHch. 
into '^ mastich, which is also obtained from a thom 
in India, and in Arabia as well ; it is called laina. 
Of mastich also there are two kinds, since in Asia 
and Greece there is also found a plant sending out 
from its root leaves and a prickly head Uke an apple, 
full of seed and of juice which spurts out when an 
incision is made in the top, so that it can scarcely be 
distinguished from true mastich. Moreover, there 
is also a third kind in^Pontus which is more Uke bitu- 
men ; but the kind most highly praised is the white 
mastich of Chios, which fetches a price of 10 denarii 
a pound, while the black kind costs 2 denarii. It is 
said that the Chian mastich exudes from the lentisk 
Uke a kind of gum. Like frankincense it is adulter- 
ated with resin. 

53 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

73 XXXVII. Arabia etiam nunc et ladano gloriatur. 
forte casuque hoc et iniuria odorum fieri plures tradi- 
dere, caprasque, maleficum alias frondibus animal, 
odoratorum vero fruticum adpetentius, tamquam in- 
tellegat ^ pretia, carpere germinum caules praedulci 
liquore turgentes destillantemque ab iis casus mixtura 
sucum inprobo barbarum villo abstergere ; hunc 
glomerari pulvere, incoqui sole ; et ideo in ladano 
caprarum pilos esse ; sed hoc non alibi fieri quam in 
Nabataeis qui sunt ex Arabia contermini Syriae. 

74 recentiores ex auctoribus storbon hoc vocant, tra- 
duntque silvas Arabum pastu caprarum infringi, 
atque ita sucum villis inhaerescere, verum autem 
ladanum Cypri insulae esse — ut obiter quaeque 
genera odorum dicantur quamvis non terrarum 
ordine. similiter hoc et ibi fieri tradunt et esse 
oesypum hircorum barbis genibusque villosis in- 
haerens, sed hederae flore deroso pastibus matutinis, 
cum est rorulenta Cypros ; dein nebula sole discussa 
pulverem madentibus villis adhaerescere atque ita 
ladanum depecti. 

75 Sunt qui herbam in Cypro ex qua id fiat ledam 
appellent, etenim ilh ledanum vocant ; huius - 

1 V.L intellegant. ^ hujug foliis ? Mayhoff. 

" Obtained froni the Cistus creticus. 
54 



BOOK XII. xxxvii. 73-75 

XXXVII. Arabia also still boasts of her ladanum.« ^um- 
A considerable number of writers have stated that 
this becomes aromatic entirely by accident and 
o^\ing to an injury : goats, they say, an animal very 
dcstructive of foliage in general, but especially fond 
of scented shrubs, as if understanding the prices they 
fetch, crop the stalks of the shoots, which swell with 
an extremely sweet fiuid, and wipe off with the 
nasty shaggy hair of their beards the juice dropping 
from the stalks in a random mixture, and this 
forms lumps in the dust and is baked by the sun ; 
and that is the reason why goats' hairs are found in 
ladanum ; though they say that this does not take 
place anywhere else but in the territory of the 
Nabataei, a people from Arabia who border on Syria. 
The more recent of the authorities call this substance 
< storbon,' and say that the trees in the Arabs' 
forests are broken by the goats when browsing, and 
so the juice sticks to their hairs ; but that the true 
ladanum belongs to the island of Cyprus — to mention 
the various kinds of scents incidentally even though 
not in the order of their locaUties of provenance. 
It is reported that the same thing takes place there 
too, and that there is a substance called oesypum 
which sticks to the beards and shaggy knees of the 
goats, but that it is produced by their nibbhng down 
the flower of the ivy while they are browsing in the 
morning, when Cyprus is wet with dew; and that 
subsequently when the sun has driven away the 
mist the dust cUngs to their damp fieeces and thus 
ladanum can be combed out of them. 

Some people call the plant in Cyprus from which Locai 
ladanum is produced ' leda,' as in fact these call ^i^anutn. 
the scent ' ledanum '; they say that its fat juices 

55 



PLINY : NATURAL HLSTORY 

piiiguia exsudare,^ itaque attractis funiculis herbam 
eam convolvi atque ita offas fieri. ergo in utraque 
gente bina genera, terrenum et facticium ; id quod 
terrenum est friabile, facticium lentum. 

76 Nec non fruticem esse dicunt in Carmania et super 
Aegyptum per Ptolemaeos tralatis plantis aut, ut 
alii, degenerante in id turis arbore, colligique ut 
cummim inciso cortice et caprinis pellibus excipi. 
pretia sunt laudatissimo in libras asses xxxx. 
adulteratur myrti bacis et aliis animalium sordibus. 
sinceri odor esse debet ferus et quodammodo soli- 
tudinem redolens, ipsum visu aridum tactu statim 
mollescere, accensum fulgere odore iucundo ; gravi 
myrtatum ^ deprehenditur crepitatque ^ in igni. 
praeterea sincero calcuH potius e rupibus inhaerent 
quam pulvis. 

77 XXXVI IL In Arabia et olea dotatur lacrima qua 
medicamentum conficitur Graecis enhaemon dictum 
singulari effectu contrahendis volnerum cicatricibus. 
in maritimis hae fluctibus aestuque operiuntur nec 
bacae nocetur, cum constet in foUis salem reUnqui. 

78 Haec sunt pecuUaria Arabiae, et pauca praeterea 

^ Dethfsen : insidere. 
2 lan : gravi tum niyrta. 

' V .1. deprehenduntur crepitantque : an deprehenditur 
crepitatuque ? Rackham. 



« I.e. ' styptic. 

56 



BOOK XII. XXXVII. 75-xxxviii. 78 

sweat out, and consequently the plant is roUed up in 
bundlcs by tying strings round it, and so made into 
cakes. Therefore there are two varieties in each 
kind, the natural sort mingled with earth and the 
artiflcial ; the earthy sort is friable, whereas the 
artificial sort is tough. 

It is also stated that there is a ladanum shrub in 
Carmania and beyond Egypt, where plants of it were 
introduced through the agency of the Ptolemies, or, 
as others say, it is a throw-back from the incense- 
tree ; and that it is collected Hke gum by making a 
cut in the bark and received in goat-skin sacks. 
The most highly approved kind is sold at a price 
of 40 asses a pound. It is adulterated with myrtle 
berries and with filth from the fleeces of other animals 
beside the goat. When genuine it ought to have a 
fierce scent, somehow suggesting the smell of the 
desert, and though looking dried up it should soften 
immediately to the touch, and when set Hght to 
flare up with an agreeable scent ; but when adulter- 
ated with myrtle-berries it can be detected by its 
unpleasant smell, and it crackles in the fire. More- 
over, the genuine ladanum has dust or rather bits of 
stone from the rocks clinging to it. 

XXXVIII. In Arabia there is also an olive en- oiire-iree 
dowed with a sort of tear out of which a medicine *'^'"**^- 
is made, called in Greek enhaemon,** because of its 
remarkable effect in closing the scars of wounds. 
These trees grow on the coast and are covered by the 
waves at high tide without this doing any harm to 
the berry, aUhough accounts agree that salt is left 
on the leaves. 

These trees are peculiar to Arabia, and it also has 
a few in common with other countries, which we must 

VOL. IV. r 57 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

communia alibi dicenda, quoniam in iis vincitur. 
peregrinos ipsa mire odores et ad exteros petit : 
tanta mortalibus suarum rerum satias est aliena- 
rumque aviditas. XXXIX. Petunt igitur in Elymaeos 
arborem bratum cupresso fusae similem, exalbidis 
ramis, iucundi odoris accensam et cum miraculo 
historiis Claudi Caesaris praedicatam : folia eius 
inspergere potionibus Parthos tradit, odorem esse 
proximum cedro, fumumque eius contra ligna aUa 
remedio. nascitur ultra Pasitigrim finibus oppidi 
Sostratae ^ in monte Scanchro. 

79 XL. Petunt et in Carmanos arborem stobrum ad 
suffitus, perfusam vino palmeo accendentes. huius 
odor redit a camaris ad solum, iucundus sed adgra- 
vans capita, citra dolorem tamen : hoc somnum aegris 

80 quaerunt. his commerciis Carras oppidum aperuere, 
quod est ibi nundinarium. inde Gabbam omnes 
petere solebant dierum viginti itinere et Palaestinen 
Syriam; postea Characem peti coeptum ac regna 
Parthorum ex ea causa auctor est luba. mihi ad 
Persas etiam prius ista portasse quam in Syriam aut 
Aegyptum videntur Herodoto teste, qui tradit 
singula milia talentum annua turis pensitasse Arabas 

1 Mayhojf coll. VI 136 : Sostrae. 

« In Westem Iran. » III. 97. 

58 



BOOK XII. XXXVIII. 78-xL. 80 

mention elsewhere because in their case it does noL 
hold the first place. Also in Arabia there is a sur- 
prising demand for foreign scents, which are imported 
from abroad : so tired do mortals get of things that 
are their own, and so covetous are they of what be- 
longs to other people. XXXIX. Consequently they 
send to the Elymaei « for the wood of the bratus, a 
tree resembhng a spreading cypress, with very white 
branches, and giving an agreeable scent when burnt. 
It is praised in the Histories of Claudius Caesar as 
having a marvellous property : he states that the 
Parthians sprinkle its leaves into their drinks, and 
that it has a scent very Hke cedar, and its smoke is an 
antidote against the effects of other woods. It 
grows beyond the River Karun on Mount Scanchrus 
in the territory of the city of Sostrata. 

XL. They also import from Carmania the stobrus Scent-irees, 
tree, to use for the purpose of fumigation ; it is soaked 
in palm wine and then set ahght. The vapour is 
thrown back from the ceihng to the floor ; it has an 
agreeable scent, but it causes headache, which is not 
however severe enough to be painful : it is used as a 
soporific for invaUds. For these trades they have 
opened up the city of Carrhae, which is the market 
town of these parts. From Carrhae everybody used 
formerly to go on to Gabba, a journey of twenty days, 
and to Palestine in Syria ; but afterwards, according 
to Juba, they began to make for Charax and the 
Parthian kingdom for the sake of the perfume trade. 
But my own view is that they used to convey those 
commodities to the Persians even before they took 
them to Syria or Egypt,this being attested by Hero- 
dotus,* who records that the Arabs used regularly to 
pay a yearly tribute of a thousand talents of incense 

59 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

81 regibus Persarum. ex Syria revehunt styracem, aeri 
odore eius in focis abigentes suorum fastidium. 
cetero non alia sunt ligni genera in usu quam odorata, 
cibosque Sabaei cocunt turis ligno, alii murrae, 
oppidorum vicorumque non alio quam ex aris fumo 
atque nidore. ad hunc ergo sanandum styracem in 
foUibus petunt ^ hircinis suffiuntque tecta : adeo nulla 
est voluptas quae non adsiduitate fastidium pariat. 
eundem et ad serpentis fugandas urunt in odoriferis 
silvis frequentissimas. 

82 XLI. Non sunt eorum cinnamomum aut casia, et 
tamen feUx appellatur Arabia, falsi et ingrati ^ 
cognominis, quae hoc acceptum superis ferat cum 
plus ex eo inferis debeat. beatam illam fecit ho- 
minum etiam in morte luxuria quae dis intellexerant 

83 genita inurentium defunctis. periti rerum adse- 
verant non ferre tantum annuo fetu quantum Nero 
princeps novissimo Poppaeae suae die concremaverit. 
aestimentur postea toto orbe singulis annis tot funera, 
acervatimque congesta honori cadaverum quae dis per 
singulas micas dantur ! nec minus propitii erant mola 



^ V.l, styracem urunt in follibus. 
2 V.l. falsa et ingrata. 



" The sap of Storax officinalis. 

* Because Arabian perfumes were specially valued for burn- 
ing on funeral pyres — the original purpose of the custom being 
to overpower the oflFensive smell. 

6o 



BOOK XII. xL. 80-xLi. 83 

to the kings of the Persians. From Syria they bring 
back styrax," which they biirn on their hearths, for 
its powerful scent to dispel their disHke for their 
own scents. For the rest, no other kinds of wood 
are in use among them except those that are scented ; 
and the Sabaei even cook their food with incense- 
wood, and other tribes with that of the myrrh-tree, 
so that the smoke and vapour of their towns and 
districts is just hke that which rises from altars. In 
order therefore to remedy tliis smell they obtain 
styrax in goat-skins and fumigate their houses with 
it: so true it is that there is no pleasure the con- 
tinued enjoyment of which does not engender disgust. 
They also burn styrax to drive away the snakes which 
abound in the forests of perfume-producing trees. 

XLI. These people have not ffot cinnamon or '^'"«^(^ ^'«'^'^ 

T 11 * 1- •.ii<TT > — clavnlo 

casia, and nevertneiess Arabia is styled Happy tuieex- 
— a country with a false and ungrateful appellation, 
as she puts her happiness to the credit of the powers 
above, although she owes more of it to the power 
below.* Her good fortune has been caused by the 
hixury of mankind even in the hour of death, when 
they burn over the departed the products which 
they had originally understood to have been created 
for the gods. Good authorities declare that Arabia 
does not produce so large a quantity of perfume in a 
year's output as was burned by the Emperor Nero in 
a day at the obsequies of his consort Poppaea. Then 
reckon up the vast number of funerals celebrated 
yearly throughout the entire world, and the perfumes 
such as are given to the gods a grain at a time, that 
are piled up in heaps to the honour of dead bodies ! 
Yet the gods used not to regard with less favour the 
worshippers who petitioned them with salted spelt, 

61 



amined. 



PLINY: NATUPAL HISTORY 

salsa supplicantibus, immo vero, ut palam est, 

84 placatiores. verum Arabiae etiamnum felicius mare 
est; ex illo namque margaritas mittit. minimaque 
computatione miliens centena milia sestertium annis 
omnibus India et Seres et paeninsula illa imperio 
nostro adimunt — tanti nobis deliciae et feminae 
constant ; quota enim portio ex illis ad deos quaeso 
iam vel ad inferos pertinet ? 

85 XLII. Cinnamomum et casias fabulose narravit 
antiquitas princepsque Herodotus avium nidis et 
privatim phoenicis, in quo situ Liber pater educatus 
esset, ex inviis rupibus arboribusque decuti carnis 
quam ipsae inferrent pondere aut plumbatis sagittis ; 
item casiam circa paludes propugnante unguibus diro 
vespertilionum genere aligerisque serpentibus, his 

86 commentis augentes rerum pretia. comitata vero 
fabula est ad meridiani solis repercussus inenarra- 
bilem quendam universitatis halitum e tota paeninsula 
existere tot generum aurae spirante concentu, 
Magnique Alexandri classibus Arabiam primum 
odoribus nuntiatam in altum — omnia falsa, siquidem 
cinnamomum idemque cinnamum nascitur in Ae- 

87 thiopia Trogodytis conubio permixta. hi mercantes 

" Casia was the wood, bark and root, and cinnamomum the 
tender shoots, etc. and flower-heads, of various kinds of 
cinnamon of China, Tibet, Burma, Ceylon and India, but the 
Romans attributed the plants to N.E. Africa and Arabia 
because of the trade-route by which they came. 

* Sent from Egypt and Mesopotamia round Arabia. 

62 



BOOK XII. xLi. 83-xLii. 87 

but rather, as the facts show, they were more bene- 
volent in those days. But the title ' happy ' belongs 
still more to the Arabian Sea, for from it come the 
pearls which that country sends us. And by the 
lowest reckoning India, China and the Arabian 
peninsula take from our empire 100 miUion sesterces 
every year — that is the sum which our luxuries and 
our women cost us ; for what fraction of these 
imports, I ask you, now goes to the gods or to the 
powers of the lower world ? 

XLII. In regard to cinnamomum and casia ^ a Cinnamon 
fabulous story has been related by antiquity, and °"'^ '^^^'^' 
first of all by Herodotus, that they are obtained iii. 111. 
from birds' nests, and particularly from that of 
the phoenix, in the region where Father Liber was 
brought up, and that they are knocked down from 
inaccessible rocks and trees by the weight of the 
flesh brought there by the birds themselves, or by 
means of arrow^s loaded with lead; and similarly 
there is a tale of casia growing round marshes under 
the protection of a terrible kind of bats that guard it 
with their claws, and of winged serpents — these tales 
having been invented by the natives to raise the price 
of their commodities. However, there goes with 
them a story that under the reflected rays of the sun 
at midday an indescribable sort of collective odour 
is given ofF from the whole of the peninsula, which is 
due to the harmoniously blended exhalation of so 
many kinds of vapour, and that the first news of 
Arabiareceived by the fleets ^ of Alexander the Great 
was carried by these odours far out to sea — all these 
stories being false, inasmuch as cinnamomum, which 
is the same thing as cinnamon, grows in Ethiopia, 
which is Hnked by intermarriage ^vith the Cave- 

63 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

id a conterminis vehunt per maria vasta ratibus quas 
neque gubemacula regant neque remi impellant ^ vel 
trahant ^ vela,^ non ratio ulla adiuvet : omnium instar 
ibi sunt homo tantum et audacia. praeterea hi- 
bernum mare eHgunt* circa bnmiam, euris tum 

88 maxime flantibus. hi recto cursu per sinus inpellunt 
atque a promunturii ambitu argestae deferunt in 
portum Gebbanitarum qui vocatur OciHa. quamo- 
brem illi maxime id petunt, produntque vix quinto 
anno reverti negotiatores et multos interire. contra 
revehunt vitrea et aena, vestes, fibulas cum armiUis 
ac moniUbus ; ergo negotiatio illa feminarum maxime 
fide constat. 

89 Ipse frutex duum cubitorum altitudine amplissimus, 
pahnique minimus, quattuor digitorum crassitudinis, 
statim a terra vi digitis surculosus, arido simiUs, cum 
viret non odoratus, foHo origani, siccitate gaudens, 
steriHor imbre, caeduae naturae. gignitur in planis 
quidem, sed densissimis in vepribus rubisque, difficiHs 
coUectu. metitur ' non nisi permiserit deus ' : lovem 
hunc inteHegunt aHqui, Assabinum iUi vocant. 
XLiv boum caprarumque et arietum extis impetra- 

^ Backham : trahant. 
2 Rackham : impellant. 
^ vela Mayhoff : non vela. 
^ Dalec. : exigunt. 

" Near the modern Cella. 
64 



BOOK XII. xLii. 87-89 

dwellers. The latter buy it from their neighbours 
and convey it over the wide seas in ships that are 
neither steered by rudders nor propelled by oars or 
drawn by sails, nor assisted by any device of art : 
in those reo;ions only man and man's boldness stands 
in place of all these things. Moreover they choose 
the winter sea about the time of the shortest day, as 
an east wind is then chiefly blowing. This carries 
them on a straight course through the bays, and after 
rounding a cape a west-north-west wind brings them 
to the harbour of the Gebbanitae called Ocilia.* 
On this account that is the port most resorted to by 
these people, and they say that it is almost five years 
before the traders return home and that many perish 
on the voyage. In retum for their wares they bring 
back articles of glass and copper, clothing, and 
buckles, bracelets and necklaces ; consequently 
that traffic depends principally on having the con- 
fidence of the women. 

The actual shrub of the cinnamon is only about Thednna- 
three feet high at the most, the smallest being only a "'«»*^'-«*- 
span high, and four inches thick, and it throws out 
shoots as low as six inches from the ground ; it has a 
dried up appearance, and while it is green has no 
scent ; the leaf is Hke that of the wild marjoram ; it 
Hkes a dry soil and is less fertile in wet weather ; and 
it stands constant cHpping. Though it grows on 
level ground, it flourishes among the thickest bushes 
and brambles, and is difficult to gather. It can only 
be cut * with the leave of the god ' — which some 
understand to mean Jove, but the Ethiopian name for 
him is Assabinus. They sacrifice 44 oxen, goats and 
rams to obtain leave to cut it, though this does not 
include permission to do so before sunrise or after 

65 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

tur venia caedendi, non tamen ut ante ortum solis 

90 aut post occasum liceat. sarmenta hasta dividit 
sacerdos deoque partem ponit, reliquum mercator in 
massas condit. est et alia fama cum sole dividi temas- 
que partes fieri, dein sorte gemina discerni, quodque 
soli cesserit relinqui ac sponte conflagrare. 

91 Praecipua bonitas virgultorum tenuissimis partibus 
ad longitudinem palmi, secunda proximis breviore 
mensura, atque ita ordine ; vilissimum quod radicibus 
proximum, quoniam ibi minimum corticis, in quo 
summa gratia, eaque de causa praeferuntur cacu- 
mina, ubi plurimus cortex.^ ipsum vero lignum in 
fastidio propter origani acrimoniam, xylocinnamo- 

92 mum vocatur. pretium ei in libras X x. quidam 
cinnami duo genera tradidere, candidius nigriusque ; 
et quondam praeferebatur candidum, nunc contra 
nigrum laudatur, atque etiam varium praeferunt 
candido. certissima tamen aestimatio ne sit scabrum 
atque ut inter sese tritum tarde frietur. damnatur 
in primis molle aut cui labet ^ cortex. 

93 lus eius a Gebbanitarum rege solo proficiscitur ; is 
edicto mercatu vendit. pretia quondam fuere in 
libras denarium milia; auctum id parte dimidia est 
incensis, ut ferunt, silvis ira barbarorum : id acciderit 



^ Edd. : ubi pluribus torpet. 

2 Mayhoff : labit aut labitur aut livet. 



66 



BOOK XII. xLii. 89-93 

sunset. A priest divides the twigs with a spear, 
and sets aside a portion for the god, while the rest 
is packed up in clumps by the dealer. Another 
account is also given, that a share is assigned to the 
sun, and that the wood is divided into three portions, 
and then lots are cast twice to assign the shares, 
and the share that falls to the sun is left, and bursts 
out in flames of its own accord. 

The finest quahty with cinnamon belongs to the 
thinnest parts of the boughs, for about a span's 
length; the second best to the next pieces for a 
shorter length, and so on in order; the worst in 
quaUty is the part nearest to the roots, because it 
has the least amount of bark, which is the part most 
favoured, and consequently preference is given to the 
tops of the plants, where there is most bark. The 
actual wood, however, is held in no esteem, because 
it has the bitter taste of wild marjoram : it is called 
wood-cinnamon ; it fetches 10 denarii a pound. Some Prices and 
writers mention two kinds of cinnamon, one Hghter ^**^^" 
and the other darker in colour ; and in former days 
the Hght kind was preferred, but now on the other 
hand the dark is praised, and even a mottled kind is 
preferred to the pure white. Still, the most certain 
test of value is that it must not be rough, and that 
when rubbed together it must crumble slowly. The 
lowest value is attached to it when it is soft or when 
the bark is falUng of. 

The right of controUing the sale of cinnamon is 
vested solely in the king of the Gebbanitae, who 
opens the market by pubUc proclamation. The 
prices formerly were 1000 denarii a pound, but this 
was raised to half as much again after the forests had 
been burnt, so it is said, by infuriated barbarians ; 

67 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

ob iniquitatem praepotentium an forte, non satis 
constat : austros ibi tam ardentis flare ut aestatibus 

94 silvas accendant invenimus apud auctores. coronas 
ex cinnamo interrasili auro inclusas primus omnium 
in templis Capitolii atque Pacis dicavit imperator 
Vespasianus Augustus. radicem eius magni ponderis 
vidimus in Palatii templo quod fecerat divo Augusto 
coniux Augusta, aureae paterae inpositam, ex qua 
guttae editae annis omnibus in grana durabantur, 
donec id delubrum incendio consumptum est. 

95 XLIII. Frutex et casia est, iuxtaque cinnami 
campos nascitur sed in montibus, crassiore sarmento, 
tenui cute verius quam cortice, quem contra atque 
in cinnamo diximus labare ^ et exinaniri pretium est. 
amplitudo frutici trium cubitorum, colos triplex : cum 
primum emicat, candidus pedali mensura, dein rufe- 

96 scit addito semipede, ultra nigricans. haec pars 
maxime laudatur ac deinde proxima, damnatur vero 
candida. consecant surculos longitudine binum digi- 
torum, mox praesuunt recentibus coriis quadri- 
pedum ob id interemptarum, ut putrescentibus 
vermiculi lignum erodant et excavent corticem tutum 

97 amaritudine. probatur recens maxime, et quae sit 

^ livere Detlefsen. 

" i.e. the writer. 
68 



BOOK XII. xLii. 93-xLiii. 97 

but it is not absolutely certain whether this was 
incendiarism provoked by injustice on the part of 
those in power or was due to accident, as we find it 
stated in the authorities that the south winds that 
blow there are so hot that they set fire to the forests 
in summer. His Majesty the emperor Vespasian was 
the first person to dedicate in the Temples of the 
Capitol and of Peace chaplets of cinnamon surrounded 
with embossed gold. We " once saw in the Temple 
of the Palatine erected in honour of his late Majesty 
Augustus by his consort Augusta a very heavy 
cinnamon-root placed in a golden bowl, out of which 
drops used to distil every year which hardened into 
grains ; this went on until the shrine in question was 
destroyed by fire. 

XLIII. Casia also is a shrub, and it grows close Thecasia 
to the plains of cinnamon, but on the mountains ; ^^^^' 
it has thicker stalks, and a thin skin rather than 
bark, which, in the opposite way to what we said in § 91. 
the case of cinnamon, gains value when it falls off 
and thins aMay. This shrub grows to a height of 
4:^ feet and it has three colours : when it first 
sprouts up, to the length of a foot it is white, then 
for the next six inches it is reddish, and beyond 
that point it is black. The black part is most 
highly esteemed, and next the part nearest to it, 
but the white part has no value at all. They cut 
the shoots to the length of two inches, and then 
sew them up in newly fiayed hides of animals 
slaughtered for the purpose, so that as they rot 
maggots may gnaw away the wood and hollow 
out the whole of the bark, which is protected from 
them by its bitter taste. The bark is valued most 
highly when fresh, when it has a very pleasant smell 

69 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

odoris mollissimi gustuque quam minime fervens 
potiusque lento tepore leniter mordens, colore 
purpurae, quaeque plurima minimum ponderis faciat, 
brevi tunicarum fistula atque non fragili. ladam 
vocant talem barbaro nomine. alia est balsamodes 
ab odore simili appellata, sed amara ideoque utilior 
medicis, sicut nigra unguentis. pretia nulli diversiora, 
optumae in libras X l, ceteris X v. 

98 His adiecere mangones quam Daphnidis vocant, 
cognominatam isocinnamon, pretiumque ei faciunt 
X ccc. adulteratur styrace et propter similitudinem 
corticum laurus tenuissimis surculis. quin et in 
nostro orbe seritur, extremoque in margine imperii, 
qua Rhenus adluit, vidi in alveariis apium satam; 
color abest ille torridus sole, et ob id simul idem 
odor. 

XLIV. Ex confinio casiae cinnamique et cancamum 
ac tarum invehitur, sed per Nabataeos Trogodytas, 
qui consedere ex Nabataeis. 

99 XLV. Eo comportatur et serichatum et gabahum, 
quae intra se consumunt Arabes nostro orbi tantum 
nominibus cognita, sed cum cinnamo casiaque 
nascentia. pervenit tamen ahquando serichatum et 



• Obtained from Vateria Indica of India. 

* These drugs have not been identified. 



70 



BOOK XII. xLiii. 97-xLv. 99 

and is hardly at all hot to the taste, and rather gives a 
sHght nip with its moderate warmth ; it must be of 
a pui^ple colour, and though bulky weigh very httle, 
and the pores of the outer coats should be short and 
not Uable to break. This kind of casia is called by 
a foreign name, lada. Another kind is near-balsam, 
so called because it has a scent Uke that of balsam, 
but it has a bitter taste and consequently is more 
useful for medicinal purposes, just as the black 
kind is more employed for unguents. No substance 
has a wider range of price — the best quaUties seU at 
50 denarii a pound and the others at 5. 

To these varieties the dealers have added one a trade 
which they caU Daphnis's casia, with the further ^a,^ "■' 
designation of near-cinnamon, and they price it 
at 300 denarii. It is adulterated with styrax, and 
with very smaU sprigs of bay because of the similarity 
of the barks. It is also grown in our part of the world, 
and I have seen it on the extreme edge of our empire, 
where the Rhine washes our frontier, planted among 
beehives ; but there it has not the scorched colour 
produced by the sun, and for the same reason also it 
has not the same scent as the southern product. 

XLIV. From the border of the casia and cinnamon 
district gum-resin ^ and aloe-wood are also imported, 
but they come by way of the Nabataean Cave- 
dweUers, who are a colony from the Nabataei. 

XLW The same place is also a centre for the coUec- other scented 
tion of serichatum and gabaUum,^ the supply of which ^'^^- 
is used up by the Arabs in their own country, so that 
they are only known by name to our part of the world, 
although growing in the same country as cinnamon 
and casia. However, serichatum does occasionaUy 
get through to us, and is employed by some persons 



PLINY : NATURAL HISTORY 

in unguenta additur ab aliquibus. permutatur in 
libras X vi. 

100 XLVI. Myrobalanum Trogodytis et Thebaidi et 
Arabiae qua ^ ludaeam ab Aegypto disterminat com- 
mune est,naseens unguento, ut ipso nomine apparet, 
quo item indicatur et glandem esse ; arbor est ^ 
heliotropio, quam dicemus inter herbas, simih folio, 

101 fructus magnitudine abellanae nucis. ex his in 
Arabia nascens Syriaca appellatur, et est candida, 
contra in Thebaide nigra ; praefertur illa bonitate 
olei quod exprimitur, sed copia Thebaica. inter haec 
Trogodytica vihssima est. sunt qui Aethiopicam his 
praeferant glande nigra ac pingui^ nucleoque gracili, 
sed liquore qui exprimitur odoratiore, nascentem in 

102 campestribus. Aegyptiam pinguiorem esse et cras- 
siore cortice rubentem et, quamvis in palustribus 
nascatur, breviorem siccioremque, e diverso Arabicam 
viridem ac tenuiorem et, quoniam amet * montuosa, 
spissiorem; longe autem optimam Petraeam ex 
quo diximus oppido, nigro cortice, nucleo candido. 
unguentarii autem tantum cortices premunt, medici 
et ^ nucleos, tundentes adfusa paulatim cahda aqua. 

103 XLVII. Myrobalano in unguentis similem proxi- 
mumque usum habet palma in Aegypto quae vocatur 

1 qua ? Mayhoff : que aut quae. 

2 Mayhoff : arbore. 

^ Dalec. : glandem nigram nec pingue. 
* amet? Mayhoff : sit. 
^ et add. Mayhoff. 



" Mupo^aAavov, * perfume-nut,' the behen-nut. 
* Or possibly ' ripens more slowly.' 
« ' Cure for thirst.' 

72 



BOOK XII. XLV. 99-xLvii. 103 

as an ingredient in unguents. It fetches up to G 
denarii a pound. 

XLVI. The Cave-dweller country and the Thebaid Behen-mu. 
and Arabia where it separates Judaea from Egypt 
all ahke have the myrobalanum," which is grown for 
scent, as is shown by its name itself, which also indi- 
cates in addition that it is a nut ; it is a tree with a 
leaf that resembles that of the hehotrope, which we 
shall describe among the herbaceous plants, and a 
fruit the size of a hazel-nut. The variety growhig in xx.57. 
Arabia is called the Syrian nut, and is white in coiour, 
whereas the Thebaid kind is black ; the former is 
preferred for the excellent quahty of the oil extracted 
from it, but the Thebaic for its large yield. The 
Cave-dweller kind is the worst among the varieties. 
Some persons prefer to these the Ethiopian behen, 
which has a black oily nut and a slender kernel, but 
the hquid squeezed out of it has a stronger scent ; 
it grows in level districts, It is said that the Egyptian 
nut is even more oleaginous and has a thicker shell 
of a reddish colour, and that though it grows on 
marshy ground the plant is shorter and drier, whereas 
the Arabian variety, on the contrary, is green in colour 
and also smaller in size and more compact in shape * 
because it hkes mountain regions ; but the Petraean 
kind, coming from the town mentioned above, is a vi. 144. 
long way the best — it has a black rind and a white 
kernel. Perfumiers, however, only extract the juice 
from the shells, but medical men also crush the 
kernels, gradually pouring warm water on them while 
pounding them. 

XLVII. The palm-tree growing in Egypt called the Scented 
adipsos '^ is used in a similar way to the behen-nut in ^" "** 
perfumery, and is almost as much in request ; it is 

73 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

adipsos, viridis, odore mali cotonei, nullo intus ligno. 
colligitur autumno ^ paulo ante quam incipiat mature- 
scere. quod si relinquatur, phoenicobalanus vocatur 
et nigrescit vescentisque inebriat. myrobalano pre- 
tium in libras X ii. institores et faecem unguenti 
hoc nomine appellant. 

104 XLVIII. Calamus quoque odoratus in Arabia 
nascens communis Indis atque Syriae est, in qua 
vincit omnis. a nostro mari cl stadiis inter Libanum 
montem ahumque ignobilem — non, ut quidam existi- 
mavere, AntiUbanum — in convalle modica iuxta 
lacum cuius palustria aestate siccantur, tricenis ab 
eo stadiis calamus et iuncus odorati gignuntur. sane 
enim dicamus et de iunco, quamvis aUo herbis dicato 
volumine, quoniam tantum ^ hic unguentorum ma- 

105 teria tractatur. nihil ergo a ceteris sui generis 
differunt aspectu, sed calamus praestanti odore statim 
e longinquo invitat, molUor tactu,meUorque qui minus 
fragiUs et qui assulose potius quam qui raphani modo 

106 frangitur. inest fistulae araneum quod vocant 
florem ; praestantior est cui numerosius. reUqua 
probatio ut niger sit — damnantur albi — meUor quo 
brevior crassiorque et lentus in frangendo. calamo 
pretium in Ubras singulas X i, iunco X v. tra- 

1 Mayhoff : aut enim. 

2 Pintianus : tamen. 

" This and the scented rush below belong to the genus 
Andropogon. For another view ef. Vol. VII, Index of Plants 
s.v. Calamus. 

^ Jebel es Sheikh. 

74 



BOOK XII. xLvii. 103-XLV111. 106 

green in colour, with the scent of a quince, and has 
no kernel inside it. It is gathered in autumn, a Httle 
before it begins to ripen. If left on the tree longer, 
it is called the palm-nut, and it turns black and has 
the property of making people who eat it intoxicated. 
The behen-nut is priced at two denarii a pound. 
The retailers also give the name of behen to the 
dregs of the unguent made from it. 

XLVIII. The scented reed^^which also grows in Scented reed. 
Arabia is shared with the Indies and Syria, the one 
growing in the latter country being superior to all 
the other kinds. About 17 miles from the Mediter- 
ranean, between Mount Lebanon and another range 
of no importance — not Counter-Lebanon ^ as some 
have supposed — there is a moderately wide valley near 
a lake the shallow parts of which dry up in summer, 
where 3J miles from the lake the scented reed and 
scented rush grow. For clearly we may speak about 
the rush also, although I have devoted another 
volume to herbaceous plants, as here we are only xxi. 120. 
deaUng with plants that supply material for ungu- 
ents. These plants then do not differ at all in 
appearance from the rest of their class, but the reed 
has a specially fine scent which attracts people even 
from a long way oif, and is softer to the touch ; the 
better variety is the one that is less brittle and that 
breaks in spUnters rather than Uke a radish. Inside 
the tube there is a sort of cobweb which is caUed 
the flower ; the plant containing most of this is the 
best. The remaining tests of its goodness are that 
it should be black — white varieties are thought in- 
ferior — and that it is better the shorter and thicker 
it is and if it is pUant in breaking. The price of 
the reed is one denarius and that of the rush 5 

75 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

duntque iuncum odoratum et in Campania inve- 
niri. 

107 Discessimus a terris oceaniun spectantibus ad con- 
vexas in nostra maria. XLIX. Ergo Aethiopiae 
subiecta Africa hammoniaci lacrimas ^ stillat in 
harenis suis ; inde nomen ^ etiam Hammonis oraculo, 
iuxta quod gignitur arbore quam metopon appellant, 
resinae modo aut cummium. genera eius duo: 
thrauston mascuH turis similitudine,^ quod maxime 
probatur, alterum pingue et resinosum, quod phyra- 
ma appellant. adulteratur harenis velut nascendo 
adprehensis; igitur quam minimis glaebis probatur 
et quam purissimis. pretium optimo in hbras 
asses xxxx. 

108 L. Sphagnos infra eos situs in Cyrenaica provincia 
maxime probatur : ahi bryon vocant. secundum locum 
optinet Cyprius, tertium Phoenicius. fertur et in 
Aegypto nasci, quin et in Galha, nec dubitaverim: 
sunt enim hoc nomine cani arborum vilh, quales in 
quercu maxime videmus, sed odore praestantes. 
laus prima candidissimis atque latissimis, secunda 
rutilis, nulla nigris ; et in insuhs petrisque nati 
improbantur, omnesque quibus palmarum atque non 
suus odor sit. 



^ lacrimas ? Mueller : lacrima. 
2 Mueller : nomine. 

^ V.l. similitudinem : thrauston (ob) masculi turis simili- 
tudinem? Eackham. 



76 



BOOK XII. xLviii. 106-L. 108 

denarii a pound. It is reported that scented rush is 
also found in Campania. 

We have now left the countries looking on the ocean A/rican 
to come to those that converge towards our seas. "^^ ^"'"' 
XLIX. Well, Africa, which Hes below Ethiopia, in 
its sandy deserts distils tear-hke drops of a sub- 
stance called hammoniacum ; this is also the origin 
of the name of the Oracle of Hammon, near to which 
this substance is produced from a tree called 
metopon, after the manner of resin or gum. There 
are two kinds of hammoniacum : one called thrauston 
(friable), which is hke male frankincense and is the 
kind most approved, and the other, greasy and resi- 
nous, which they call phyrama (paste). It is adulter- 
ated with sand, which looks as if it has stuck to it while 
growing; consequently it is preferred in extremely 
small lumps and these as pure as possible. The price 
of the best hammoniacum is 40 asses a pound. 

L. The sphagnos valued most highly is found in the Scenud 
province of Cyrenaica, south of these regions : others 
call it bryon. The second place is held by the Cyprian 
kind, and the third by the Phoenician. It is also 
said to grow in Egypt, and indeed in Gaul as well, 
and I am not prepared to doubt this ; for there are 
grey tufts that bear this name growing on trees, 
resembhng the growths that we principally see on the 
oak, but having a superior scent. The most highly 
esteemed are the whitest and most widely spreading 
mosses, and the bright red ones are in the second 
class, but no value at all is attached to the black 
variety ; moreover, the mosses that grow on islands 
and on rocks are not esteemed, nor are all those that 
have the scent of palm-trees and not that of their 
own kind. 

77 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

109 LL Cypros in Aegypto est arbor ziziphi foliis, 
semine coriandri candido, odorato. coquitur hoc in 
oleo premiturque postea, quod cypros vocatur; 
pretium ei in hbras X v. optimum e Canopica in 
ripis Nih nata, secundum Ascalone ludaeae, tertium 
in ^ Cypro insula : odoris suavitas quaedam. hanc 
esse dicunt arborem quae in Itaha hgustrum vocetur. 

110 LII. In eodem tractu aspalathos nascitur, spina 
candida magnitudine arboris modicae, flore rosae ; 
radix unguentis expetitur. tradunt in quocumque 
frutice curvetur arcus caelestis eandem quae sit 
aspalathi suavitatem odoris exisistere, sed si in 
aspalatho, inenarrabilem quandam. quidam eurn 
erysisceptrmn vocant, ahi sceptrum. probatio eius 
in colore rufo vel igneo tactuque spisso et odore 

111 castorei. permutatur in hbras X v. LIII. In 
Aegypto nascitur et maron peius quam Lydium, 
maioribus fohis ac variis : iUa brevia ac minuta et 
odorata. 

LIV. Sed omnibus odoribus praefertur balsamum, 
uni terrarum ludaeae concessum, quondam in duobus 
tantimi hortis, utroque regio, altero iugerum viginti 
non amphus, altero pauciorum. ostendere arborum^ 
hanc urbi imperatores Vespasiani, clarumque dictu, a 

1 in add. : Mayhoff. 

2 MuelUr : arbutum. 



Lawsonia inermis. 

Origanum sipyleum, a kind of marjoram. 

Commipfiora opohalsamum. 



7« 



BOOK XII. Li. 109-LIV. III 

LI. A tree found in Egypt is the cypros,^ which 
has the leaves of the jujube-tree and the white, 
scented seed of the coriander. Cypros-seed is boiled 
in ohve oil and afterwards crushed, producing the 
cypros of commerce, which sells at 5 denarii a pound. 
The best is made from the tree grown at Canopus on 
the banks of the Nile, the second best at Ascalon in 
Judaea, and the third quality on the island of 
Cyprus, which has a sort of sweet scent. The 
cypros is said to be the same as the thorn called 
privet in Italy. 

LII. In the same region grows the aspalathus, a Scented 
white thorn of the size of a moderate-sized tree, ^^"' 
with the flower of a rose ; the root is in request for 
unguents. People say that any shrub over which a 
rainbow forms its arch gives out a scent as sweet as 
that of the aspalathus, but that if this happens in the 
case of an aspalathus a scent rises that is indescribably 
sweet. Some call this shrub red sceptre and others 
sceptre. The test of its genuineness Ues in its fiery 
red colour, firmness to the touch and scent hke 
that of beaver-oil. It is sold for 5 denarii a 
pound. LIII. Cat-thyme * also grows in Egypt, 
though not so good a kind as the Lydian variety, 
its leaves being larger and variegated : those of the 
Lydian are short and very small, and have a strong 
scent. 

LIV. But every other scent ranks below hahcim. <^ Baisamof 
The only country to which this plant has been j^.^^^y^^^^J 
vouchsafed is Judaea, where formerly it grew in only 
two gardens, both belonging to the king ; one of them 
was of not more than twenty iugera in extent and the 
other less. This variety of shrub was exhibited to 
the capital by the emperors Vespasian and Titus ; 

79 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

Pompeio Magno in triumpho arbores quoque duxi- 

112 mus. servit nunc haec ac tributa pendit cum sua 
gente, in totum alia natura quam nostri externique 
prodiderant; quippe viti similior est quam myrto: 
malleolis seri didicit nuper, vincta ut vitis, et inplet 
colles vinearum modo. quae sine adminiculis se 
ipsa sustinet tondetur similiter fruticans ; ac rastris 
nitescit properatque nasci, intra tertium annum 

113 fructifera. folium proximum ^ tuberi, perpetua coma. 
saeviere in eam ludaei sicut in vitam quoque suam ; 
contra defendere Romani et dimicatum pro frutice 
est; seritque nunc eum fiscus, nec unquam fuit 
numerosior ; proceritas intra bina cubita subsistit. 

114 Arbori tria genera: tenui ^ et capillacea coma, 
quod vocatur eutheriston ; alterum scabro aspectu, 
incurvum, fruticosum, odoratius : hoc trachy appel- 
lant; tertium eumeces, quia est reUquis procerius, 
levi cortice. huic secunda bonitas, novissima euthe- 

115 risto. semen eius vino proximum gustu, colore ru- 
fum, nec sine pingui ; peius in grano quod levius 

^ proximum {rutae, fructus proximus) lan coll. Theoph. 
H. Pl. 9, 6, Diosc. 1, 18. 
2 V.l. tenue. 



" Perhaps the text requires expanding, to give ' Its leaf is 
very like that of rue and its fruit is like the tuber-apple.' 

8q 



BOOK XII. Liv. 111-115 

and it is a remarkable fact that ever since the time 
of Pompey the Great even trees have figm-ed among 
the captives in our triumphal processions. The 
balsam-tree is now a subject of Rome, and pays tri- 
bute together with the race to which it belongs ; it 
differs entirely in character from the accounts that 
had been given of it by Roman and foreign writers, 
being more Hke a vine than a myrtle : it has quite 
recently been taught to grow from mallet-shoots tied 
up on trelHses hke a vine, and it covers whole hill- 
sides as vineyards do. A balsam unsupported by a 
trelHs and carrying its own weight is pruned in a 
similar manner when it puts out shoots ; the use of 
the rake makes it thrive and sprout rapidly, bearing 
in its third year. Its leaf is very near that of the 
tuber-apple," and it is an evergreen. The Jews 
vented their wrath upon this plant as they also did 
upon their own Hves, but the Romans protected it 
against them, and there have been pitched battles 
in defence of a shrub. It is now cultivated by the 
treasury authorities, and "was never before more 
plentiful; but its height has not advanced beyond 
three feet. 

There are three varieties of balsam-tree : one Varieties of 
with thin foHage Hke hair, caHed easy-to-gather ; '^ ^'^"*' 
another with a rugged appearance, curving over, of 
a bushy growth and with a stronger scent — they 
call this rough balsam, and the third tah balsam 
because it grows higher than the rest ; this has a 
smooth bark. This last is the secondbest in quality, 
and the easy-to-gather kind is the lowest grade. 
Balsam-seed tastes very Hke wine, and has a red 
colour and a rather greasy consistency ; that con- 
tained in a husk, which is Hghter in weight and greener 

81 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

atque viridius. ramus crassior quam myrto; inci- 
ditur vitro, lapide osseisve cultellis — ferro laedi 
vitalia odit, emoritur protinus, eodem amputari super- 
vacua patiens. incidentis manus libratur artifici 

116 temperamento, ne quid ultra corticem violet. sucus 
e plaga manat quem opobalsamum vocant, suavitatis 
eximiae, sed tenui gutta; ploratus lanis parva 
colligitur in cornua, ex iis novo fictili conditur, 
crassiori similis oleo et in musto candidus ^ ; rufescit 

117deinde simulque durescit e tralucido. Alexandro 
Magno res ibi gerente toto die aestivo unam concham 
impleri iustum erat, omni vero fecundidate e maiore 
horto congios senos, e minore singulos, cum et duplo 
rependebatur argento ^ ; nunc etiam singularum 
arborum largior vena. ter omnibus percutitur 

118 aestatibus, postea deputatur. et sarmenta quoque 
in merce sunt ; dccc HS amputatio ipsa surculusque 
veniere intra quintum devictae ludaeae ^ annum. 
xylobalsamum vocatur et coquitur in unguentis ; pro 
suco ipso substituere officinae. corticis etiam ad 
medicamenta pretium est ; praecipua autem gratia 

^ Detlefsen : candida. 

^ Edd. argentum. 

^ ludaeae add. Mueller. 



" The small concha was something over a hundredth part of 
a pint, the large concha three times that amount. The congius 
was a httle less than 6 pints. 

82 



BOOK XII. Liv. 115-118 

in colour, is inferior. The branch is thicker than Modeof 
that of a myrtle ; incision is made in it with a piece '"^^"^ "■**• 
of glass or a stone, or with knives made of bone — it 
strongly dishkes having its vital parts M'oimded with 
steel, and dies oifat once, though it can stand having 
superfluous branches pruned with a steel knife. The 
hand of the operator making the incision has to be 
poised under skilful control, to avoid inflicting a 
wound going below the bark. The juice that oozes 
out of the incision is called opobalsamum ; it is ex- 
tremely sweet in taste, but exudes in tiny drops, 
the trickle being collected by means of tufts of wool 
in small horns and poured out of them into a new 
earthenware vessel to store ; it is Hke rather thick 
oHve-oil and in the unfermented state is white in 
colour ; later on it turns red and at the same time 
hardens, having previously been transparent. When 
Alexander the Great was campaigning in that coun- 
try, it was considered a fair whole day's work in 
summer to fill a single shell,'* and for the entire 
produce of a-rather large garden to be six congii and 
of a smaller one congius, at a time moreover when its 
price was twice its weight in silver: whereas at the 
present day even a single tree produces a larger 
flow. The incision is made three times in every 
summer, and afterwards the tree is lopped. There 
is a market even for the twigs too ; within five years By-products 
of the conquest of Judaea the actual loppings and °l^^'^^ 
the shoots fetched 800,000 sesterces. These trim- 
mings are called wood of balsam ; they are boiled 
down in perfumes, and in manufacture they have 
taken the place of the actual juice of the shrub. 
Even the bark fetches a price for drugs; but the 
tears are valued most, the seed coming second, 

83 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

lacrimae, secunda semini, tertia cortici, minima ligno. 

119 ex hoc buxosum est optimiun, quod et odoratissimum, 
e semine autem maximum et ponderosissimum, 
mordens gustu fervensque in ore. adulteratur 
Petraeo hyperico, quod coarguitur magnitudine, 
inanitate, longitudine, odoris ignavia, sapore piperis. 

120 lacrimae probatio, ut sit e pingui tenuis ac modice 
rufa et in fricando odora.^ secunda candidi ^ coloris,^ 
peior viridis crassusque, pessimus niger, quippe ut 
oleum senescit. ex omni incisura maxime probatur 
quod ante semen fluxit. et ahas adulteratur seminis 
suco, vixque maleficium deprehenditur gustu ama- 
riore ; esse enim debet lenis, non subacidus, odore 

121 tantum austerus. vitiatur et oleo rosae, cypri, 
lentisci, balani, terebinthi, myrti, resina, galbano, 
cera C}^ria, prout quaeque res fuit, nequissime autem 
cummi, quoniam arescit in manu inversa et in aqua 

122 sidit, quae probatio eius gemina est : debet sincerimi 
item arescere,* sed hoc cummi addita fragile ^ 
crusta evenit. et gustu deprehenditur ; carbone 
vero quod cera resinaque adulteratum est, nigriore 
flamma. nam melle mutatur statim: in manu con- 

123 trahit muscas. praeterea sinceri densatur in tepida 

1 V.l. odorata. ^ V.l. candidus. 

^ Mayhoff '. colos. 

* item arescere ? Mayhoff : inarescere aut marcescere. 

5 F.Z. fragili. 

84 



BOOK XII. Liv. 118-123 

the bark third and the wood lowest. Of the wood 
the sort resembhng boxwood is the best, and also has 
the strongest scent ; the best seed is that which is 
largest in size and heaviest in weight, which has a 
biting taste and is hot in the mouth. Balsam is adul- Modesof 
terated with the ground-pine of Petra, which can be ^^.'/j^''''""' ' 
detected by its size, hollowness and long shape and 
by its weak scent and its taste hke pepper. The 
test of tear of balsam is that it should be thinning 
out in eonsistency, and sHghtly reddish, and give a 
strong scent when rubbed. The second quaUty is 
white in colour, the next inferior is green and thick, 
and the worst kind black, inasmuch as Hke oHve oil it 
deteriorates with age. Out of aU the incisions the 
oil that has flowed out before the formation of the 
seed is considered the best. Also another mode of 
adulteration is by using the juice of the seed, and the 
fraud can be with difRculty detected by the greater 
bitterness of the taste ; for the proper taste is 
smooth, without a trace of acidity, the only pun- 
gency being in the smell. It is also adulterated 
with oil of roses, of cyprus, of mastich, of behen-nut, 
of the turpentine-tree and of myrtle, and with resin, 
galbanum and wax of Cyprus, just as occasion serves ; 
but the worst adulteration is with gum, since this 
dries up on the back of the hand and sinks in water, 
which is a double test of the genuine article — pure 
tear of balsam ought to dry up Hkewise, but the sort 
with gum added to it turns brittle and forms a skin. 
It can also be detected by the taste ; or when adulter- 
ated with wax or resin, by means of a hot coal, as it 
burns with a blacker flame. When mixed with 
honey, its quaHty alters immediately, as it attracts 
tties even when held in thc hand. Moreover a drop 

85 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

aqua gutta sidens ad ima vasa, adulterata olei modo 
innatat et, si metopio vitiata est, circulo candido 
cingitur. summa est probatio ut lac coagulet, in 
veste maculas non faciat. nec manifestior alibi fraus, 
quippe milibus denarium sextarii, empti vendente 
fisco tricenis denariis, veneunt : in ^ tantum expedit 
augere liquorem.^ xylobalsamo pretium in libras X vi. 

124 LV. Proxima ludaeae Syria supra Phoenicen styra- 
cem gignit circa Gabala et Marathunta et Casium 
Seleuciae montem. arbor est eodem nomine, cotoneo 
malo simiUs; lacrimae ex austero iucundi odoris, 
intus simihtudo harundinis, suco praegnas. in hanc 
circa canis ortus advolant pinnati vermicuh erodentes ; 

125 ob id scobe sordescit. styrax laudatur post supra 
dicta ex Pisidia, Side, Cypro, Cihcia, Creta minime, 
ex Amano Syriae medicis, sed unguentariis magis. 
colos in quacumque natione praefertur rufus et 
pinguiter lentus, deterior furfurosus et cano situ 
obductus. adulteratur cedri resina vel cummi, ahas 
mehe aut amygdahs amaris; omnia ea depre- 
henduntur gustu. pretium optimo X xvii. exit 
et in Pamphyha, sed aridior minusque sucosus. 

1 [in]? Mayhoff. 

* expedit licere auctorem Ian\ exp. augere licitanti {vel 
licitatori) Warmington, 

86 



BOOK XII. Liv. 123-LV. 125 

of pure balsam thickens in warm water, settling to 
the bottom of the vessel, whereas when adulterated 
it floats on the top hke oil, and if it has been tampered 
with by using metopium, a white ring forms round it. 
The best test of all is that it will cause milk to curdle 
and will not leave stains on cloth. In no other case is 
more obvious fraud practised, inasmuch as every pint 
bought at a sale of confiscated property for 300 
denarii when it is sold again makes 1000 denarii : so 
much does it pay to increase the quantity of adultera- 
tion. The price of wood-balsam is six denarii a pound. 

LV. The region of Syria beyond Phoenicia nearest styrax 
to Judaea produces styrax in the part round Gabala SSw). 
and Marathus and Mount Casius in Seleucia. The 
tree has the same name ; it is similar to a quince. Its 
tears have a pleasant, almost pungent scent, and inside 
it resembles a reed, and is full of juice. About the 
rising of the Dog-star certain httle maggots with 
wings flutter about this tree, gnawing away the wood, 
and consequently it is fouled with their scrapings. 
The styrax esteemed next to the above-named 
growths comes from Pisidia, Side, Cyprus and Cihcia, 
and that from Crete is rated lowest; that from 
Mount Amanus in Syria is valued by the medical 
profession, but even more by perfumiers. In every 
nation a red colour and sticky consistency are 
preferred, and styrax that is brown and covered with 
white mould is considered inferior. It is adulterated 
with cedar « resin or gum, and another way employs 
honey or bitter almonds; all these adulterations can 
be detected by their taste. The price of the best 
styrax is 17 denarii. It is also produced in Pamphyha, 
but this is a drier and less juicy kind. 

• Cf. p. 128 note h. 

87 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

126 LVI. Dat et galbanum Syria in eodem Amano 
monte e ferula quam eiusdem nominis resinae 
modo stagonitim appellant. quod maxime laudant 
cartilaginosum, purum ad similitudinem hammoniaci 
minimeque lignosum. sic quoque adulteratur faba 
aut sacopenio. sincerum, si uratur, fugat nidore 
serpentes. permutatur in libras X v. L\ II. Medi- 
cinae hoc tantmii, panacen et unguentis eadem 

127 gignit, nascentem et in Psophide Arcadiae circaque 
Erymanthi fontem et in Africa et in Macedonia, 
ferula sui generis quinque cubitorum, foHis primo 
quaternis, mox senis in terra iacentibus ampla 
magnitudine rotundis, in cacumine vero oleagineis, 
semine ^ muscariis dependente ut ferulae. excipitur 
sucus inciso caule messibus, radice autimino. lauda- 
tur candor eius coacti ; sequens pallido statera ; niger 
colos inprobatur. pretium optimo in libras X ii. 

128 LVIII. Ab hac ferula diifert quae vocatur spondylion 
fohis tantum, quia sunt minora et platani divisura. 
non nisi in opacis gignitur. semen eodem nomine 
sihs speciem habet, medicinae tantum utile. LIX. 

129 Dat et malobathrum Syria, arborem foHo convoluto, 
colore aridi foH, ex quo premitur oleum ad unguenta, 
fertiHore eiusdem Aegypto. laudatius tamen ex 

* Mayhoff : semine in aut semine vero. 

" From Ferula galbaniflua. 

" See Index of Plants, Vol. VII. 

" Almost certainly leaf of cinnamon, and not, as was often 
thought, betel; its attribution to Syria instead of India 
{malobathrum = Sanskrit tamalapatra, ' cinnamon-leaf '), 
Ceylon, China, etc, was owing to trade-routes. 

88 



BOOK XII. Lvi. 126 Lix. 129 

L\T. Svria also supplies ffalbanum," which also ^f^«" *«ni- 
grows on Mount Amanus ; it comes trom a kmd 
of fennel which they call stagonitis, like the resin 
of the same name. The kind of galbanum most 
esteemed is cartilaginous, clear Hke hammonia- 
cum and free from all woody substance. Even so 
it is adulterated with beans or with sacopenium.* 
Pure galbanum, if burnt, drives away snakes with 
its smell. It is sold at 5 denarii a pound. LVII. 
Pure galbanum is only useful for medicinal purposes ; 
but Syria produces all-heal which is used for un- 
guents as well. It also grows at Psophis in Arcadia 
and round the spring of Erymanthus, and in Africa 
and in Macedonia also. It has a pecuHar stalk 
7J feet long; this throws out first four leaves and 
then six lying on the ground, which are very large 
and of a round shape, but the leaves on the top of 
the plant are like those of the oHve ; the seed hangs 
in tufts Hke that of the fennel. The juice is got by 
means of incisions made in the stalk at harvest time 
and at the root in autumn. It is valued for white- 
ness when it coagulates, the next grade being 
assigned to juice of a pale colour, while the black 
is held of no value. The price of the best quaHty 
is two denarii a pound. L\TII. From this fennel 
the one caHed bear's-wort fennel differs only in the 
ieaf, which is smaUer, and has divisions Hke a 
plane-leaf. It only grows in shady places. Its 
seed, bearing the same name, resembles that of 
hart-wort; it is only useful for medicine. LIX. 
Syria also suppHes the malobathnim,'^ a tree with a 
folded leaf, the colour of a leaf that has dried up ; 
from it oil is pressed to use for unguents, Egypt 
also producing it in stiH greater quantity. But the 

voL. rv. r» ^9 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

India venit; in paludibus ibi gigni tradunt lentis 
modo, odoratius croco, nigricans scabrumque, quo- 
dam salis gustu. minus probatur candidum ; celer- 
rime situm in vetustate sentit. sapor eius nardo 
similis esse debet sub lingua; odor vero in vino 
subfervefacti antecedit alios. in pretio quidem 
prodigio simile est, a denaris singulis ad X cccc 
pervenire libras, folium autem ipsum in libras 
Xlx. 

130 LX. Oleum et omphacium est : fit duobus generi- 
bus et totidem modis, ex olea et vite, olea adhuc 
alba expressa, deterius ex druppa — ita vocatur 
priusquam cibo matura sit, iam tamen colorem 
mutans — differentia quod hoc viride est, illud can- 

131 didum. e vite psithia fit aut Aminaea. cum sunt 
acini ciceris magnitudine, ante canis ortum, in prima 
lanugine demetitur uva eiusque melligo; rehquum 
corpus sole coquitur — nocturni rores caventur in 
fictili conditae ^ ; — melhgo cohigitur, subinde et 
Cyprio aere servatur. optima quae rufa, acriorque 

^ V.l. condita. 
90 



BOOK XII. Lix. 129-LX. 131 

kind that comes from India is valued more highly ; 
it is said to grow there in marshes, hke the lentil, 
with a scent stronger than that of saffron, a darkish 
rough appearance, and a sort of salt taste. The 
white variety is less highly spoken of ; it very quickly 
acquires a musty smell with age. Malobathrum 
when placed under the tongue ought to taste hke 
nard; but its scent when it is put in shghtly 
warmed wine surpasses any others. In point of 
price at all events it approaches the marvellous, 
the pound ranging from one denarius to four 
hundred, while the leaf itself reaches 60 denarii a 
pound. 

LX. There is also the oil of unripe berries, which oumadeof 
is made in two varieties and by two processes, one l^he^s^and 
kind beinff made from the oHve and one from the ^^£?*' ^ 

rr^i T • 1 1 .1 .11 1 . catk%ns,tmld 

vme. Ihe oiive is pressed while stili white, or an grapes, 
inferior oil is obtained from the druppa — which is ^iH^HJcun!!^ 
the name given to an ohve not yet ripe enough to eat 
but ah-eady beginning to change colour — the differ- 
ence being that the inferior kind is green and the 
other white. It is made either from the psithian 
vine ° or from the vine of Aminaea. The vine is 
plucked when the grapes are the size of a chick-pea, 
before the rising of the Dog-star, when the first 
bloom is on them, and the unripe juice is obtained ; 
after which the remaining pulp is left to dry in 
the sun — precaution being taken against nocturnal 
dews, by storing the grapes in an earthenware 
vessel — while the unripe juice is collected and at 
once also put to keep in a C^^prian bronze jar. The 
best kind is that which is red in colour and rather 

« See XIV. 80. 

91 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

et aridior. pretium omphacio in libras X vi. fit 
et alio modo, cum in mortariis uva inmatura teritur 
siccataque in sole postea digeritur in pastillos. 

132 LXL Eodem et bryon pertinet, uva populi albae. 
optima circa Cnidum aut Cariam in sitientibus aut 
siccis asperisque, secunda in Lyciae cedro. eodem 
et oenanthe pertinet ; est autem vitis labruscae 
uva. colligitur cum floret, id est cum optime olet, 
siccatur in umbra substrato Unteo atque ita in 

133 cados conditur. praecipua ex Parapotamia, secunda 
ab Antiochia atque Laodicea Syriae, tertia ex monti- 
bus Medicis ; haec utilior medicinae. quidam omni- 
bus his praeferunt eam quae in Cj^ro insula nascitur. 
nam quae in Africa fit ad medicos tantum pertinet 
vocaturque massaris. omnis autem ex alba labrusca 
praestantior quam e nigra. 

134 LXIL Est praeterea arbor ad eadem unguenta 
pertinens quam alii elaten vocant — quod nos abietem 
— alii palmam, alii spatham. laudatur Hammoniaca 
maxime, mox Aegyptia, dein Syriaca, dimitaxat in 
locis sitientibus odora, pingui lacrima, quae in 
unguenta additur ad domandum oleum. 



" The word usually means ' green laver ': here it denotes 
cluster of catkins. 

92 



BOOK XII. Lx. i3r-Lxii. 134 

bitter and dry to the taste. Omphacium sells at 6 
denarii a pound. There is also another way of 
making it, by pounding up unripe grapes in mortars ; 
the grapes are afterwards dried in the sun and 
divided up into lozenges. 

LXI. To the same family also belongs bryon,'* ob- 
tained from the catkins of the white poplar. The 
best kind grows in the neighbourhood of Cnidus or 
Caria, in waterless districts or on dry rough ground, 
and a second best quahty grows on the cedar in 
Lycia. To the same group also belongs oenanthe, 
obtained from the cluster of the wild vine. It is 
picked when it flowers, which is the time when it 
has the best scent, and it is dried in the shade on 
a Hnen sheet spread out for the purpose, and then 
put into casks to store. The best kind comes 
from Parapotamia, the second best from Antiochia 
and Laodicea in Syria, and the third best from 
the mountains in Media ; the last kind is more 
useful for medicines. Some people prefer the kind 
that grows in the island of C}^rus to all of these. As 
for the oenanthe produced in Africa it is only used 
by the doctors, and is called massaris. But all the 
oenanthe obtained from the white wild vine is 
superior to that from the black. 

LXII, There is also another tree that likewise 
serves for producing unguents, which is called by 
some people an elate — the Latin for which is ' fir ' 
— and by others a palm and by others again a spatha. 
That of Hammonium is most highly spoken of, next 
the Egyptian variety, and then the Scythian. It only 
has a scent if it grows in regions devoid of water ; 
it has tears of a greasy consistency, which are added 
to unguents to overcome the hardness of the oil. 

93 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

135 LXIII. In Syria gignitur et cinnamum quod 
comacum appellant ; hic est sucus nuci expressus 
multum a suco illo ^ veri cinnami dilFerens, vicina 
tamen gratia. pretium in libras asses xxxx. 

* Fintianus : a susculo aut a surculo. 



94 



BOOK XII. Lxiii. 135 

LXIII. Syria also prodnces the kind of cinnamon 
called comacum;" this is a juice squeezed out of a 
nut, and is quite different from the juice of the true 
cinnamon, although it is almost equally agreeable. 
Its price is 40 asses a pound. 

" Possibly nutmeg of the Moluccas, attributed to Syria 
because ol the traderoute. 



95 



BOOK XIII 



LIBER XIII 

I. Hactenus in odoribus habent pretia silvae, 
erantque parum ^ per se mira singula, iuvitque 
luxuriam ^ omnia ea miscere et e cunctis unum 

2 odorem facere : ita reperta sunt unguenta. quis 
primus invenerit non traditur. Iliacis temporibus 
non erant, nec ture supplicabatur : cedri tantum et 
citri suorum fruticum et in sacris fumo convolutum 
nidorem verius quam odorem noverant, iam rosae 
suco reperto; nominatur enim hic quoque in olei 

3 laude. unguentum Persarum gentis esse debet ; iUi 
madent eo et accersita commendatione inluvie natum 
virus extingunt. primum, quod equidem inveniam, 
castris Darii regis expugnatis in reUquo eius apparatu 
Alexander cepit scrinium unguentorum. postea 
voluptas eius ^ a nostris quoque inter lautissima * 
atque etiam honestissima vitae bona admissa est, 
honosque et ad defunctos pertinere coepit; qua- 
propter plura de eo dicemus. quae ex his non erunt 

1 parum add. ? Mayhoff. ^ Edd. : luxuria. 

^ <rei> eius ? Mayhoff'. * V.l. laudatissima. 

» Cf. p. 128, note 6. 
98 



BOOK XIII 

I. This is the degree to which the forests are 
valuable in the matter of scents ; and their various 
products were not sufficiently remarkable by them- 
selves, and luxury took pleasure in mixing them all 
up together and making a single scent out of the 
combination : thus perfumes were invented. It is Perfumes, 
not recorded who first discovered them. In the days reiued!^' 
of the Trojan War they did not exist, and incense was 
not used when prayers were made to the gods : even 
in the rites of reUgion people only knew the scent of 
cedar and citrus wood, trees of their own country, or 
more truly the reek, as it rose in wreaths of smoke, 
though attar of roses had ah*eady been discovered,for 
it also is specified as an ingredient in commending 
oUve oil. Perfume ought by right to be accredited 
to the Persian race : they soak themselves in it, and 
quench the odour produced from dirt by its ad- 
ventitious attraction. The first case that I am able to 
discover was when a chest of perfumes was captured 
by Alexander among the rest of the property of King 
Darius when his camp was taken. Afterwards the 
pleasure of perfume was also admitted by our fellow- 
countrymen as well among the most elegant and 
also most honourable enjoyments of Hfe, and even 
began to be an appropriate tribute to the dead ; 
and consequently we will enlarge on the subject. 
Those among perfumes which are not the product of 

99 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

fruticmn ad praesens nominibus tantum indicabuntur, 
natura vero eorum suis reddetur locis. 

4 II. Unguentis cognomina dedere aliis patriae, aliis 
suci, aliis arbores, aliis aliae ^ causae ; primiunque id 
scire convenit, mutata auctoritate et saepius tran- 
sisse gloriam : laudatissimum fuit antiquitus in Delo 
insula, postea Mendesium. nec mixtm-a et con- 
positione tantum hoc accidit, sed iidem suci varie 
alibi atque alibi praevaluere aut degeneravere. 

5 irinum Corinthi diu maxime placuit, postea Cyzici, 
simiU modo rhodinum PhaseUde,^ quam gloriam 
abstulere NeapoUs, Capua, Praeneste. crocinum^ 
SoUs CiUciae diu maxime laudatum est, mox Rhodi ; 
oenanthinum in Cypro, post Adramytteo, amaracinum 
in Coo, postea eodem loco praelatum est meUnum, 
cyprinum in Cypro, deinde in Aegypto, ubi Mende- 

6 sium et metopium subito gratius factum est ; mox 
haec abstuUt Phoenice et cyprini laudem Aegypto 
reUquit. panathenaicum suum Athenae perse- 
veranter optinuere. fuerat et pardaUum in Tarso, 
cuius etiam conpositio et mixtura obUtterata 

^ aliae add. Warmington. 
2 Rackham : Phaseli. 
^ MayhoJJ : crocinum in. 

But of seeds or plants. 



BOOK XIII. I. 3-II. 6 

shrubs * will for the present only be indicated by 
their names ; however, an account will be given of 
their nature in their proper places. 

II. Perfumes have received their names in some Piaccsof 
cases from their countries of origin, in others from the °S!gl^^ 
juices of which they are made, in others from trees, fashion. 
and in others from other causes ; and the first thing 
proper to know about them is that their importance 
changes, quite often their fame having passed away. 
The perfume most highly praised in the old days was 
made on the island of Delos, but later that from the 
Egyptian town of Mendes ranked the highest. Nor 
was this only the result of the blending and combi- 
nation of several scents, but the same juices gained 
supremacy or degenerated in various ways in difFer- 
ent places. The iris perfume of Corinth was ex- 
tremely popular for a long time, but afterwards that 
of Cyzicus, and similarly the attar of roses made at 
Phasehs, but this distinction was later taken from it 
by Naples, Capua and Palestrina. Oil of safFron 
from SoU in CiHcia was for a long time praised most 
highly, but subsequently that of Rhodes ; vine- 
flower scent made in Cyprus was preferred, but after- 
wards that from Adramytteum, and scent of mar- 
joram made in Cos, but afterwards quince-blossom 
unguent from the same place, and cyprus-scent made 
in Cyprus, but subsequently that made in Egypt ; 
at this point scent from Mendes and almond-oil 
suddenly became more popular, but later on Phoeni- 
cia appropriated these two scents and left the credit 
for cyprus-scent to Egypt. Athens has persistently 
maintained the credit of her ' all-Athenian ' perfume. 
There was also once an unguent called panther- 
scent at Tarsus, even the recipe for compounding 

lOI 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

est ; narcissinum quoque ex flore narcisso desiit 
conponi. 

7 Ratio faciendi duplex, sucus et corpus ; ille olei 
generibus fere constat, hoc odorum : haec stymmata 
vocant, illa hedysmata. tertius inter haec est colos 
multis neglectus ; huius causa addantur ^ cinnabaris 
et anchusa. sal adspersus olei naturam coercet ; qui- 
bus anchusa adiecta est sal non additur. resina aut 
cummis adiciuntur ad continendum odorem in 
corpore : celerrime is evanescit atque defluit si non 
sunt haec addita. 

8 Unguentorum expeditissimum fuit primumque, ut 
verisimile est, e bryo et balanino oleo, de quibus 
supra diximus. increvit deinde Mendcsium e ^ bala- 
nino, resina, murra, magisque etiamnum metopium ; ^ 
oleum hoc est amygdahs amaris expressum in 
Aegypto, cui addidere omphacium, cardamomum, 
iuncum, calamum, mel, vinum, murram, semcn 

9 balsami, galbanum, resinam terebinthinam. e vilis- 
simis quidem — hodieque est ob id creditum et id e 
vetustissimis esse — quod constat oleo myrteo, calamo, 
cupresso, c}^ro, lentisco, mah granati cortice. scd 
divulgata maxime unguenta crediderim e * rosa, quae 
plurima ubique gignitur; itaque simplicissima rho- 
dini mixtura diu fuit additis omphacio, flore rosae, 
crocino, cinnabari, calamo, melle, iunco, sahs flore 

* Rackham : adduntur. 
- e add. Rackham. 

^ Dalec. : metopio. 

* e add. Rackham. 

" The plant 'dragon'8-blood.' 

' Oil or juice of unripe olives or grapes. 

I02 



BOOK XIII. II. 6-9 

which has disappeared ; narcissus-scent has also 
ceased to be made from the narcissus flower. 

The recipe for makinxr unffuents contains two Matermis 
mgredients, tne juice and tne soiid part, the tormer or per/umes. 
which usually consists of various sorts of oil and the 
latter of scented substances, the oils being called 
' astringents ' and the scents ' sweetenings.' To- 
gether with these there is a third factor that many 
people neglect — that of colour, for the sake of which 
cinnabar " and alkanet should be added. A sprinkle 
of salt serves to preserve the properties of the oil, but 
to scents containing an admixture of alkanet salt is 
not added. Resin or gum are added to retain the 
scent in the soHd part, as it evaporates and disappears 
very quickly if these are not added. 

The unguent most quickly made and probably the Various 
first invented was made of bryon and behen-oil, 52£^jS. 
of which we have spoken above. Later the Mendes xii. 108. 
scent came in, made of behen-oil, resin and myrrh, 
and at the present day metopium is even more 
popular ; this is an oil made in Egypt, pressed out 
of bitter almonds, with the addition of omphacium,* 
cardamom, rush, flag, lioney, wine, myrrh, seed of 
balsam, galbanum and terebinth-resin. One of the 
conmionest unguents indeed — and at the present 
day it is consequently beheved also to be one of 
the oldest — is one made of myrtle-oil, reed. cjpress, 
cyprus, mastic-oil and pomegranate rind. But I 
am incHned to beheve that the scents most widely 
used are those made from the rose, which grows in 
great abundance everywhere ; and so the simplest 
compound was for a long time that of oil of roses, 
though additional ingredients used are omphacium, 
rose and saffron blossoms, cinnabar. reed, honey, 

103 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

10 aut anchusa, vino. similis ratio et in crocino, additis 
cinnabari, anchusa, vino ; similis et in sampsuchino 
admixtis omphacio, calamo : optimum hoc in Cypro, 
Mytilenis, ubi plurima sampsuchus. miscentur et 
viliora genera olei e myrto, lauru, quibus additur 
sampsuchum, Hlium, fenum Graecum, murra, cassia, 

11 nardum, iuncus, cinnamomum. e mahs quoque 
cotoneis et strutheis fit oleum, ut dicemus, meUnum, 
quod in unguenta transit admixtis omphacio, cyprino, 
sesamino, balsamo, iunco, cassia, habrotono. sasi- 
num tenuissimum omnium cst ; constat ex UHis, 

12 balanino, calamo, meUe,^ cinnamo, croco, murra ; et 
dein ^ cyprinum ex cypro et omphacio et cardamomo, 
calamo, aspalatho, habrotono ; aUqui etiam ^ cypri- 
num addunt et murram et panacem: hoc optimum 
Sidone, mox Aegypto. si vero * addatur sesaminum 
oleum, durat et quadriennio ; excitatur cinnamomo. 

13 TeUnum fit ex oleo recenti, cypro, calamo, 
meUloto, feno Graeco, meUe, maro, amaraco. 
hoc multo erat celeberrimum Menandri poetae 
comici aetate ; postea successit propter gloriam 
appeUatum megaUum, ex oleo balanino, bal- 
samo, calamo, iunco, xylobalsamo, cassia, resina. 
huius proprietas ut ventiletur in coquendo donec 

^ Hermolaus : melius. 
2 Mayhoff : et idem. 
^ etiam ? Mayhoff : et in. 
* vero ? Mayhoff : non. 

" Apparently the name is supposed to have come frora 
li€ya<s, 'great,' but more probably it was discovered by somo- 
one named Megalus. 

104 



BOOK XIII. II. 9 13 

rush, flower of salt or else alkanet, and wine. A 

similar method also is used in the case of oil of 

saffron with the addition of cinnabar, alkanet and 

wine, and also a similar method in the case of oil of 

marjoram, by mixing in omphacium and reed ; this 

is best in Cyprus and at Mitylene, where marjoram 

is very plentiful. Also cheaper kinds of oil are 

compounded out of myrtle and laurel with the 

addition of marjoram, lihes, fenugreek, myrrh, casia, 

nard, rush and cinnamon. There is also an oil made 

friim the common quince and the sparrow-quince, 

as we shall say later ; it is called mehnum, and xxiii. 103. 

is used as an ingredient in unguents with a mixture 

of omphacium, oil of cyprus, oil of sesame, balsam, 

rush, casia and southernwood. The most fluid of 

them all is susinum, made of hUcs, oil of behen-nut, 

sweet flag, honey, cinnamon, saffron and myrrh; and 

next is oil of cyprus, made of cyprus, omphacium, car- 

damom, sweet flag, cameFs thorn and southernwood ; 

some people also add oil of cyprus and myrrh and all- 

heal ; the best is that made at Sidon and the 

next best in Egypt. But if oil of sesame is 

added, the mixturc will last as long as four years ; 

and its scent is brought out by the addition of 

cinnamon. 

Unguent of fenugreek is made of fresh olive-oil, 
cyprus, reed, melilot, fenugreek, honey, cat-thyme 
and scent of marjoram. This was much the most 
celebrated unguent in the time of Menander, the 
author of comcdies ; but afterwards its place was 
taken by megahum, so called because of its celebrity « ; 
this was made of behen-nut oil, balsam, reed, rush, 
wood-balsam, casia and resin. A peculiarity of this 
unguent is that it must be constantly stirred while 

105 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

desinat olere; rursus refrigeratum odorem suum 
capit. 

14 Singuli quoque suci nobilia unguenta faciunt : in 
primis malobathrum, postea iris Illyrica et Cyzicena 
amaracus, herbarum utraque. vel pauca his et aUa 
aUi miscent, qui phn-ima alterutri mel, sahs florem, 
omphaciiun, agni foha, panacem, externa omnia. 

15 et prodigiosa cinnamomino pretia ; adicitur cinnamo 
balaninum oleum, xylobalsamum, calamus, iunci, 
balsami semina, murra, mel odoratum. unguentorum 
hoc crassissimum ; pretia ei a X xxxv ad X ccc. 
nardinum sive fohatum constat omphacio aut bala- 
nino, iunco, costo, nardo, amomo, murra, balsamo. 

16 In hoc genere conveniet meminisse herbarum quae 
nardum Indicum imitarentur specics ix a nobis esse 
dictas: tanta materia adulterandi est. omnia 
autem acutiora fiunt costo, amomo, quae maxime 
naris feriunt, crassiora murra suavioraque, medicinae 
autem utihora croco, acerrima per se amomo ; hoc 
et capitis dolores facit. quidam satis habent ad- 
spergere quae sunt pretiosissima ceteris decoctis, 
inpendio parcentes, sed non est eadem vis nisi una 

17 decoctis. murra et per se unguentum facit sine eleo. 



" The meaning of externa omnia is uncertain, and is not 
elucidated by putting the fuil stop before exierna with some 
editors. 

io6 



BOOK XIII. II. 13-17 

boiling until it ceases to have any odour, and when 
it becomes cold it recovers its scent. 

There are also some juices which separately produce 
famous perfumes — in the first place cinnamon-leaf, 
then the Illyrian iris and the sweet marjoram of 
Cyzicus, both of the herb class. Some few other in- 
gredients are united with these, different ones by 
different makers, those who use the most mixing with 
one or the other honey, flower of salt, omphacium, 
leaves of the agnus castus, all-heal, and all sorts of 
foreign substances." Also unguent of cinnamon 
fetches enormous prices ; to cinnamon is added behen- 
nut oil, wood-balsam, reed, seeds of rush and balsam, 
myrrh and scented honey. This is the thickest in 
consistency of all the unguents ; its prices range 
from 35 to 300 denarii. Spikenard or leaf-unguent 
is made of omphacium or else behen-nut oil, rush, 
costus, nard, amomum, myrrh and balsam. 

Under this heading it will be suitable to recall that 
we mentioned nine species of plants that resemble xii. 43f. 
the Indian nard : such a large supply of material is 
available for purposes of adulteration. They can all 
be rendered more pungent by the addition of costus 
and amomum, which have an extremely powerful 
scent, and thicker in consistency and sweeter by 
means of myrrh, while their utihty for medicine is 
increased by adding saffron ; but they will be ren- 
dered extremely penetrating in themselves by means 
of amomum — this actually causes headache. Some 
people hold it enough to add a sprinkle of the 
most expensive ingredients to the others after boiling 
them down, as an economy, but the mixture has not 
the same strength unless they are all boiled down 
together. Myrrh even when used by itself ^vithout 

107 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

stacte dumtaxat,alioqiii nimiam amaritudinem adfert. 
cyprino viride fit, susino unguinosum, Mendesio 
nigrum, rhodino candidimn, murra pallidum. 

Haec sunt antiquae inventionis genera et postera ^ 
officinarum furta. nunc dicetur cumulus ipse deli- 
ciarum et summa auctoritas rei. 

18 Ergo regale unguentum appellatum, quoniam 
Parthorum regibus ita temperatur, constat myro- 
balano, costo, amomo, cinnamo comaco, cardamomo, 
nardi^ spica, maro, murra, casia, styrace, ladano, 
opobalsamo, calamo iuncoque Syriis, oenanthe, 
malobathro, serichato, cypro, aspalatho, panace, 
croco, cypiro, amaraco, loto, melle, vino. nihilque 
eius rei causa in ItaUa victrice omnium, in Europa 
vero tota praeter irim Illyricam et nardum Galhcum 
gignitur : nam vinum et rosa et myrti folia oleumque 
communia fere omnium terrarum intellegantur. 

19 III. Siccis odoribus constant quae diapasmata 
vocantur; nam faecem unguenti magma appellant. 
inter omnis potentissimus odor quisquis novissime 
additm*. unguenta optime servantur in alabastris, 
odores in oleo, quod diuturnitati eorum tanto utiHus 
est quanto pinguius, ut ex amygdahs ; et ipsa ungu- 
enta vetustate meUora. sol inimicus iis, quamobrem 
in umbra conduntur ^ plumbeis vasis. experimentum 

^ postera ? Mayhoff : poster ant postea. 

2 cardamomo, <iride,> nardi ? Warmington. 

' Edd. : coquuntiir. 



" Iris seems to have fallen out of the list in the last 
eentence. 
lo8 



BOOK XIII. II. 17-111. 19 

oil makes an unguent, provided that the stacte kind xii. 68. 
is used — otherwise it produces too bitter a flavour. 
Unguent of cyprus produces a green colour, Hly 
unguent gives a greasy consistency, oil of Mendes 
makes the mixture black, attar of roses white, and 
myrrh gives a pale hue. 

These are the kinds of perfumes invented in early 
times, and the subsequent pilferings of the factories. 
We will now speak of what is the very chmax of luxury 
and the most important example of this commodity. 

What then is called the ' royal ' unguent, because 'RoyaV 
it is a blend prepared for the kings of Parthia, is p^J^"^' 
made of behen-nut juice, costus, amomum, Syrian 
cinnamon, cardamom, spikenard, cat-thyme, myrrh, 
cinnamon-bark, styrax-tree gum, ladanum, balm, 
Syrian flag and Syrian rush, wild grape, cinnamon- 
leaf, serichatum, cyprus, cameFs thorn, all-heal, safF- 
ron, gladiolus, marjoram, lotus, honey and wine. And 
none of the components of this scent is grown in 
Italy, the conqueror of the world, and indeed none 
in the whole of Europe excepting the iris « in Illyria 
and nard in Gaul — for as to wine and roses and 
myrtle leaves and oHve oil, they may be taken as 
belonging to pretty well all countries in common. 

III. What are called sprinkhng powders are made Howtokeip 
of dried scents, the dregs of unguents being termed ^*^^"'** 
* magma.' Among all the scents employed the one 
added last is the most powerful. Unguents keep 
best in alabaster boxes, scents when mixed with oil, 
and the fatter it is, as for instance oil of almonds, 
the better it helps to preserve them for a long time ; 
and the unguents themselves improve with age. 
Sunshine is detrimental to them, and therefore they 
are stored in the shade, in vessels made of lead. 

109 



PLINY; NATURAL HISTORY 

eoruni inversa manu capitur, ne carnosae partis calor 
vitiet. 

20 IV. Haec est niateria luxus e cunctis maxume 
supervacui ; margaritae enim gemmaeque ad here- 
dem tamen transeunt, vestes prorogant tempus, 
unguenta ilico expirant ac suis moriuntur horis. 
summa commendatio eorum ut transeunte femina 
odor invitet etiam aliud agentes — exceduntque quad- 
ringenos X Ubrae ! tanti emitur voluptas aliena, 

21 etenim odorem qui gerit ipse non sentit. si tamen 
et haec aliqua difFerentia signanda sunt, in M. 
Ciceronis monumentis invenitur unguenta gratiora 
quae terram quam quae crocum sapiant, quando 
etiam corruptissimo in genere magis tamen iuvat 
quaedam ipsius vitii severitas. sed quosdam crassi- 
tudo maxime delectat spissum appellantes, linique 

22 iam, non solum perfundi unguentis gaudent. vidimus 
etiam vestigia pedum tingui, quod monstrasse M. 
Othonem Neroni principi ferebant : quaeso,^ qualiter 
sentiretur iuvaretque ab ea parte corporis ? nec 
non aUquem e privatis audivimus iussisse spargi 
parietes balnearum unguento atque Gaium princi- 
pem solia temperari ac, ne principale videatur hoc 

^ Edd. : quaeso ut. 



BOOK XIII. III. 19-IV. 22 

When being tested they are put on the back of the 
hand, to avoid their being damaged by the warmth 
of the fleshy part. 

IV. Perfumes serve the purpose of the most Luxurious 
superfluous of all forms of luxury ; for pearls and ^^ '^^ "^' 
jewels do nevertheless pass to the \vearer's heir, and 
clothes last for some time, but unguents lose their 
scent at once, and die in the very hour when they are 
used. Their highest recommendation is that when 
a woman passes by her scent may attract the 
attention even of persons occupied in something else 
— and their cost is more than 400 denarii per pound ! 
All that money is paid for a pleasure enjoyed by 
somebody else, for a person carrying scent about 
him does not smell it himself. Still, if even these 
matters deserve to be graded after a fashion, we find 
in the works left by Marcus Cicero that unguents 
that have an earthy scent are more agreeable than 
those smeUing of saffron, inasmuch as even in a class 
of things where corruption is most rife, nevertheless 
some deffree of strictness in vice itself g;ives more 
enjoyment. But there are people who get most 
pleasure from unguent of a dense consistency, which 
they call * thick essence,' and who enjoy smearing 
themselves with perfume and not mcrely pouring 
it over them. We have even seen people put scent 
on the soles of their feet, a practice said to have 
been taught to the emperor Nero by Marcus Otho ; 
pray, how could it be noticed or give any pleasure 
from that part of the body ? Moreover, we have 
heard that somebody of private station gave orders 
for the walls of his bathroom to be sprinkled with 
scent, and that the Emperor Caligula had the bath- 
tubs scented, and so also later did one of the slaves 

IIT 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

23 bonum, et postea quendam e servis Neronis. maxime 
tamen mirum est hanc gratiam penetrasse et in 
castra: aquilae certe ac signa, pulverulenta illa et 
cuspidibus horrida, unguuntur festis diebus, uti- 
namque dicere possemus quis primus instituisset ! 
ita est nimirum, hac mercede corruptae orbem 
terrarum devicere aquilae ! ista patrocinia quaerimus 
vitiis, ut per hoc ius sub casside unguenta sumantur. 

24 V. Quando id primum ad Romanos penetraverit 
non facile dixerim. certum est Antiocho rege Asia- 
que devictis urbis anno dlxv P. Licinium Crassum 
L. lulium Caesarem censores edixisse ne quis ven- 
deret unguenta ^ exotica : sic enim appellavere. at, 

25 Hercules, iam quidam etiam in potus addunt, tantique 
est amaritudo ut odore prodigo fruatur ex utraque 
parte corpus.^ L. Plotium, L. Planci bis consulis 
censorisque fratrem, proscriptum a triumviris m 
Salernitana latebra unguenti odore proditum constat, 
quo dedecore tota absoluta proscriptio est ; quis 
enim non merito iudicet perisse tales ? 

26 VI. Cetero terrarum omnium Aegyptus accommo- 
datissima unguentis, ab ea Campania est copia rosae. 
ludaea vero incluta est vel magis palmis, quarum 
natura nunc dicetur. sunt quidem et in Europa 
volgoque ItaUa, sed steriles. ferunt in maritimis 

1 [unguenta] ? (c/. autem Plaut. Most. 42 non omnes 
possunt olere unguenta exotica) Rackham. 

2 V.l. fruantur . . . corporis. 

" Octavian, Antony and Lepidua, 43 b.c. 



BOOK XIII. IV. 22-vi. 26 

of Nero — so that this must not be considered a privi- 
lege of princes ! Yet what is most surprising is that 
this indulgence has found its way even into the 
camp : at all events the eagles and the standards, 
dusty as they are and bristhng with sharp points, 
are anointed on hohdays — and I only wish we were 
able to say who first introduced this custom ! No 
doubt the fact is that our eagles were bribed by this 
reward to conquer the world! We look to their 
patronage forsooth to sanction our vices, so as to have 
this legitimation for using hair-oil under a helmet ! 

V. I could not readilv sav when the use of unffu- introductvjn 

■^ of SC€7lt Qt 

ents first made its way to Rome. It is certain that Uome. 
in 189 B.c. the censors Pubhus Licinius Crassus and 
Lucius Juhus Caesar issued a proclamation forbidding 
any sale of ' foreign essences ' — that being the 
regular name for them. But, good heavens ! nowa- 
days some people actually put scent in their drinks, 
and it is worth the bitter flavour for their body to 
enjoy the lavish scent both inside and outside. It is 
a well-known fact that Lucius Plotius, the brother of 
Lucius Plancus who was twice consul and censor, 
when proscribed by the Triumvirs « was given away 
in his hiding-place at Salerno by the scent of the 
unguent he had been using — a disgrace that acquitted 
the entire proscription of guilt, for who would not 
consider that people of that sort deserved to die ? 

VI. In other respects Egypt is of all the countries Paim-tree 
in the world the best adapted for the production of ^''^"'' 
unguents, but Campania with its abundance of roses 

runs it close. But Judaea is even more famous 
for its palm-trees, the nature of which will now be 
described. It is true that there are also palms in 
Europe, and they are common in Italy, but these are 

113 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

Hispaniae fructum, verum inmitem, dulcem in 

27 Africa sed statim evanescentem. contra in oriente 
ex iis vina gentiumque aliquis panis, plurimis vero 
etiam quadrupedum cibus. quamobrem iure di- 
centur externae ; nulla est in Italia sponte genita, 
nec in alia parte terrarum nisi in calida, frugifera 

28 vero nusquam nisi in fervida. VII. Gignitur levi 
sabulosaque terra, maiore in parte et nitrosa. gaudet 
riguis totoque anno bibere, cum amet sitientia. 
fimo ^ quidam etiam laedi putant, Assyriorum pars 
aliqua si non rivis misceat. genera earum plura, et 
prima fruticem * non excedentia, sterilem hunc, 
aliubi et ipsum fertilem, brevisque rami. orbe 
foliorum tectorii vicem hic parietibus plerisque in 

29 locis praestat contra aspergines. est et proceriori- 
bus silva, arbore ex ipsa foUorum aculeo fruticante 
circa totas pectinatim ; quas silvestres intellegi 
necesse est, incerta tamen libidine etiam mitioribus 
se miscent. reliquae teretes atque procerae, densis 
gradatisque corticum pollicibus aut orbibus faciles ad 
scandendum orientis se populis praebent vitilem sibi 
arborique indutis circulum mira pernicitate cum 



1 V.l. amet anno sitienti. a fimo. 

2 fniticem edd. : frutice. 



TI4 



BOOK XIII. VI. 26-vii. 29 

barren. In the coastal regions of Spain they do bear 
fruit, but it does not ripen, and in Africa the fruit is 
sweet but will not keep for any time. On the other 
hand in the east the palm supphes the native races 
with wine, and some of them with bread, while a very 
large number rely on it also for cattle fodder. For 
this reason, therefore, we shall be justified in describ- 
ing the palms of foreign countries ; there are none 
in Italy not grown under cultivation, nor are there in 
any other part of the earth except where there is a 
warm climate, while only in really hot countries does 
the palm bear fruit. VII. It grows in a hght sandy 
soil and for the most part in one containing nitrates. 
It Ukes running water, and to drink all the year 
round, though it loves dry places. Some people 
think that dung actually does it harm, while a 
section of the Assyrians think that this happens if 
they do not mix the dung with water from a 
stream. There are several kinds of pahn, beginning vanetiesnf 
with kinds not larger than a shrub — a shrub that ^^"^- 
in some cases is barren, though in other districts 
it too bears fruit — and having a short branch. In 
a number of places this shrub-palm with its dome 
of leaves serves instead of plaster for the walls of 
a house, to prevent their sweating. Also the taller 
palms make a regular forest, their pointed foUage 
shooting out from the actual tree aU round them 
Uke a comb — these it mastbe understood are wild 
palms, though they also have a wayward fancy for 
mingUng among the cultivated varieties. The other 
kinds are rounded and taU, and have compact rows of 
knobs or circles in their bark which render them easy 
for the eastern races to cUmb; they put a plaited 
noose round themselves and round the tree, and the 

115 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

30 homine subeuntem. coma omnis in cacumine et 
pomum est, non inter folia hoc ut in ceteris sed suis 
inter ramos pahnitibus racemosum, utraque natura 
uvae atque pomi. foha cultrato mucrone lateribus 
in sese bifida tabellas primum demonstravere 
geminas, nunc ad funes vitihumque nexus et capitum 
levia mnbracula finduntur. 

31 Arboribus, immo potius omnibus quae terra gignat 
herbisque etiam utrumque esse sexum dihgentissimi 
naturae tradunt, quod in plenum satis sit dixisse hoc 
in loco, nullis tamen arboribus manifestius. mas in 
palmite floret, femina citra florem germinat tantum 
spicae modo. utrisque autem prima nascitur pomi 
caro, postea hgnum intus ; hoc est semen eius : argu- 
mentum quod parvae sine hoc reperiuntur in eodem 

32 palmite. est autem oblongum, non ut oHvis orbicu- 
latum, praeterea caesum a dorso pulvinata fissura, et 
in alvo media plerisque umbiUcatum : inde primum 
spargitur radix. seritur autem pronum et bina 
iuxta composita semina superque totidem, quoniam 
infirmae ^ singulis plantae,^ quaternae coalescunt. 

33 multis candidisque Ugnimi hoc a carnibus discernitur 
tunicis, aUis corpori adhaerentibus, laxeque distans 

* infirma e Mayhoff, 
2 lan : planta est. 

ii6 



BOOK XIII. VII. 29-33 

noose goes up with the man at an astonishingly rapid 
speed. AU the foliage is at the top of the tree, and 
so is the fruit, which is not among the leaves as in 
all other trees, but hanging in bunches from shoots 
of its own between the branches, and which has the 
nature of both a cluster and a single fruit. The 
lcaves have a knife-Hke edge at the sides and are 
divided into two flanges that fold together ; they 
first suggested folding tablets for writing, but at the 
present day they are spHt up to make ropes and 
plaited wicker-work and parasols. 

The most devoted students of nature report that Sexofpaims. 
trees, or rather indeed all the products of the earth fr^^^f^!^ 
and even grasses, are of both sexes, a fact which it 
may at this place be sufficient to state in general 
terms, although in no trees is it more manifest than 
in the palm. A male palm forms a blossom on the 
shoot, whereas a female merely forms a bud Hke an 
ear of corn, without going on to blossom. In both 
male and female, however, the flesh of the fruit forms 
first and the woody core afterwards ; this is the seed 
of the tree — which is proved by the fact that smaH 
fruits without any core are found on the same shoot. 
The seed is oblong in shape and not rounded like an 
oHve-stone, and also it is spHt at the back by a bulging 
cleft, and in most cases shaped Hke a navel at the 
middle of the bulge : it is from here that the root first 
spreads out. In planting the seed is laid front-side 
downward, and a pair of seeds are placed close to- 
gether with two more above them, since a single seed 
produces a weak plant, but the four shoots unite in 
one strong growth. This woody core is divided from 
the fleshy parts by a number of white coats, others 
cHnging closely to its body ; and it is loose and separ- 

117 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

tantum cacuminis ^ filo adhaeret. caro maturescit 
anno ; quibusdam tamen in locis, ut in Cypro, quam- 
quam ad maturitatem non perveniat, grato sapore 
dulcis est. folium ibi latius, fructus quam reliquis 
rotundior, nec ut devoretur corpus, verum ut expua- 

34 tur suco modo expresso. et in Arabia languide 
dulces traduntur esse palmae, quamquam luba apud 
Scenitas Arabas praefert omnibus saporibus quam 
vocant dablan. cetero sine maribus non gignere 
feminas sponte edito nemore confirmant, circaque 
singulos plures nutare in eum pronas blandioribus 

35 comis ; illum erectis hispidum adflatu visuque ipso et 
pulvere etiam rehquas maritare; huius arbore 
excisa viduvio ^ post sterilescere feminas. adeoque 
est veneris intellectus ut coitus etiam excogitatus sit 
ab homine e maribus flore ac lanugine, interim vero 
tantum pulvere insperso feminis. 

36 VIII. Seruntur autem palmae et trunco duum cubi- 
torum longitudine a cerebro ipso arboris fissuris diviso 
atque defosso. et ab radice avolsae vitalis est satus et 
ramonmfi tenerrimis. in Assyria ipsa quoque arbor 
strata in solo imiido tota radicatur, sed in frutices, 



^ cacumini Gelen. 

2 Sillig : biduo et alia. 



ii8 



BOOK XIII. VII. 33-viii. 36 

ate, only attached by a thread at its top end. The 
flesh takes a year to ripen, though in some places, 
for instance, Cyprus, it has a pleasant sweet flavour 
even though it does not reach maturity. In Cyprus 
the leaf is broader and the fruit rounder than it 
is elsewhere, though people there do not eat the body 
of the fruit, but spit it out after merely squeezing out 
the juice. Also in Arabia the palm is said to have 
a sickly sweet taste, although Juba states that he 
prefers the palm that grows in the territory of the 
Tent-dweller Arabs, which they call the dablas, to 
all other kinds for flavour. For the rest, it is stated 
that in a palm-grove of natural growth the female 
trees do not produce if there are no males, and that 
each male tree is surrounded by several females with 
more attractive foliage that bend and bow towards 
liim ; while the male bristhng with leaves erected 
impregnates the rest of them by his exhalation and 
by the mere sight of him, and also by his pollen ; 
and that when the male tree is felled the females 
afterwards in their widowhood become barren. And 
so fully is their sexual union understood that mankind 
has actually devised a mcthod of impregnating them 
bv means of the flowcr and down collected from the 
males, and indeed sometimes by merely sprinkhng 
their pollen on the females. 

VIII. Palms are also propagated by layering, the Propagatwn 
trunk for a length of three feet from the actual brain ^^^ingand 
of the tree being divided by incisions and dug into ^'^'^ , 
the ground. Also a sHp torn off from the root makes 
a hardy growth when planted, and so does one from 
the youngest of the branches. In Assyria the tree 
itself, too, is laid in a moist soil and throws out roots 
along its whole length, but these grow into shrubs 

irg 



PLINY : NATURAL HISTORY 

37 non in arborem ; ergo plantaria instituunt anni- 
culasque transferunt et iterum bimas, gaudent enim 
mutatione sedis, verna alibi, in Assyria autem circa 
canis ortus. nec ferro attingunt ibi novellas, sed 
religant comas ut in altitudinem exeant. robustas 
deputant crassitudinis gratia, semipedales ramorum 
truncos relinquentes, qui decisi alibi necant matrem. 

38 diximus salsum ab his solum diligi ; ergo ubi non est 
tale salem aspergunt, non radicibus sed longius paulo. 
quaedam in Syria et Aegypto in binos se dividunt 
truncos, in Creta et in ternos, quaedamque et 
quinos. ferunt statim in trimatu, in Cypro vero, 
Syria, Aegj^to, quadrimae, aliae quinquennes, alti- 
tudine hominis, nullo intus pomi ligno quamdiu sunt 
novellae, ob id spadonum accepto nomine. 

39 IX. Genera earum multa. sterihbus ad materias 
operumque lautiora utitur Assyria et tota Persis. 
sunt et caeduae palmarum quoque silvae rursus 
germinantes ab radice succisae ; dulcis medulla 
earum in cacimiine, quod cerebrum appellant, 
exemptaque vivunt, quod non ahae. vocantur 
autem chamaeropes, foho latiore ac molh ad vitiha 

** l.e. forms no seeds. 

I20 



BOOK XIII. VIII. 36-ix. 39 

and not into a tree ; consequently the growers plant 
cuttings, and transplant the young trees when a year 
old and again when two years old, for they like a 
change of position — this is done in the spring in 
other countries, but in Assyria about the rising of the 
Dog-star. Also there they do not touch the young 
trees with a knife, but tie back the leafy shoots to make 
them grow upward to a considerable height. When 
the trees are strong they prune them down so as 
to make them grow thicker, leaving the stumps of 
the branches six inches long ; to lop them at any 
other point kills the mother tree. We have said 528. 
above that palms Uke a salt soil ; consequently in 
places where the ground is not of that nature they 
sprinkle salt on it, not at the roots of the trees but a 
httle farther ofF. Some palms in Syria and Egypt 
divide into two trunks, and in Crete even into three, 
and some even into five. These begin to bear in three 
years, but the palms in Cyprus, Syria and Egypt bear 
when four years old, and others when five, the tree 
being then the height of a man ; as long as the trees 
are young the fruit has no woody part inside,^ and 
consequently they are called ' eunuchs.' 

IX. Palm-trees are of many varieties. The harren rarietiesof 
kinds are used in Assyria and throughout the whole of p'^'"'- 
Persia for building timber and for the more luxuri- 
ous articles of manufacture. Also there are forests of 
palms grown for timber which when felled send out 
shoots again from the root ; the pith of these at the 
top, which is called their ' brain,' has a sweet taste, 
and after it has been removed the trees continue to 
hve, which is not the case with other sorts of palm. 
The name of this tree is the chamaerops, and it has an 
exceptionally broad soft leaf which is extremely 

VOL. TV. T7 '2^ 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

utilissimo, copiosae in Creta, sed magis in Sicilia. 

40 e palmis prunae vivaces ignisque lentus. fructi- 
ferarum aliis brevius lignum in pomo, aliis longius, 
his molliiLS, illis durius, quibusdam osseum limarum 
dente contra fascinantes religione politum. aliud 
pluribus vestitum paucioribusve tunicis, aliud crassi- 
oribus tenuioribusve. ita fiunt undequinquaginta 
genera, si quis omnium persequi velit nomina etiam 

41 barbara vinorumque ex iis differentias. clarissimae 
omnium, quas regias appellavere ob honorem, 
quoniam regibus tantum Persidis servabantur, Baby- 
lone natae uno in horto Bagou : ita vocant spadones, 
qui apud eos etiam regnavere. hortus ille numquam 
nisi dominantis in aula fuit. 

42 At in meridiano orbe praecipuam optinent nobiH- 
tatem syagri proximamque margarides. hae breves, 
candidae, rotundae, acinis quam balanis simiHores, 
quare et nomen a margaritis accepere. una earum 
arbor in Chora esse traditur, una et syagrorum, mi- 
rumque de ea accipimus, cum phoenice ave, quae 
putatur ex huius palmae argumento nomen accepisse, 
intermori ac renasci ex seipsa, eratque, cum prode- 



* The fabulous bird from Arabia (Herodotus) or India 
(Philostratus) : ^oin^, ' date-palm.' 



' BOOK XIII. i.x. 39-42 

useful for wicker-work ; it grows in large numbcrs in 
Crete, but even more in Sicily. Palmwood makes 
charcoal that lasts a long time and burns slowly. In 
the pahiis that bear fruit the core of the fruit is 
shorter in some cases than in others and also softer ; 
in some cases it is of a bony substance, and when 
poHshed with the edge of a file is used by superstition 
as a charm against witchcraft. The core is wrapped 
in several coats which in some cases vary in number 
and in others in thickness. Consequently there are 
forty-nine kinds of palm, if one cared to go through 
the names of them all, including those that have 
foreign names, and the varieties of wine that are 
extracted from them. The most famous of all is 
honoured by the name of the royal palm, because it 
used to be reserved for the kings of Persia alone ; 
it grew only at Babylon in the Garden of Bagous — 
the Persian word for a eunuch, some of these having 
actually been kings in Persia. This garden was 
always kept within the precincts of the ruler's court. 

In the southern part of the world the kind called VaHetiesof 
in Greek the wild-boar date is held in the highest '^^'"* 
repute, and next to it ranks the Maldive nut date. 
The latter is a short, rounded fruit of a white colour, 
more Uke a grape than a Phoenician date, for which 
reason it has also received the name of pearl- 
date. It is said that only one palm-tree of this 
kind exists, at Chora, and the same is the case with 
the wild-boar date ; and a remarkable story has 
come to us about this tree, to the effect that it dies 
off and then comes to life again of itself — a peculiarity 
which it shares with the phoenix," which is thought to 
have taken its name fromthe suggestion of thispalm- 
tree : the tree was bearing fruit at the time when 

123 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

43 rem, fertilis. pomum ipsum grande, durum, horri- 
dum et a ceteris generibus distans sapore quodam 
ferinae in apris evidentissimo, quae causa nominis. 
quarta auctoritas sandalidum a similitudine appella- 
tarum ; iam in Aethiopiae fine quinque harum qui 
plurimas arbores tradunt, non raritate magis quam 

44 suavitate mirabiles. ab his caryotae maxime cele- 
brantur, et cibo quidem sed et suco uberrimae, ex 
quibus praecipua vina orienti, inimica ^ capiti, unde 
pomo nomen. sed ut copia ibi atque fertiUtas, ita 
nobilitas in ludaea, nec in tota sed Hiericunte maxime 
quamquam laudata et Archelaide et Phaselide atque 
Liviade, gentis eiusdem convallibus. dos iis prae- 
cipua suco pingui lactentibus quodamque vini 

45 sapore ut ^ in melle praedulci. sicciores ex hoc 
genere nicolai, sed ampUtudinis praecipuae, quaterni 
cubitorum longitudinem efficiunt. minus speciosae 
sed sapore caryotarum sorores et ob hoc adelphides 
dictae proximam suavitatem habent, non tamen 
eandem. tertium ex his genus, patetae, nimio 
hquore abundat rumpitque se pomi ipsius etiam in 
sua matre ebrietas, calcatis similis. 

46 Suum genus e sicciore turba dactyhs, praelonga 

^ Mueller : iniqua. 
* ut add. Eackham. 



" Really meaning ' nut-shaped,' but supposed to be from 
Kapa and vwSrjs and to mean 'pig-headed.' 

* Called from Nicolaus of Damascus a Peripatetic philoso- 
pher, who, when visiting Rome with Herod the Great, pre- 
sented the finest dates procurable to Augustus : Athenaeus 
XIV. 22. 

' More probably the name was due to their growing in 
pairs on the same stalk. 

124 



BOOK XIII. IX. 42-46 

this book was published. The actual fruit is large, 
hard and prickly, and difFers from all the other kinds 
by having a gamey sort of smell that is most noticed 
in wild boars, which is the reason for its name. The 
sandahs date, so called from its resemblance to a 
sandal, ranks fourth ; of this kind again there are 
said to be at the most five trees in existence, on the 
border of Ethiopia, and they are as remarkable for 
the sweetness of their fruit as they are for their 
rarity. Next to these the most famous are the 
car}'otae, which supply a great deal of food but also 
of juice, and from which the principal wines of the 
East are made ; these strongly affect the head, to 
which the date owcs its name.'^ But not only are these 
trees abundant and bear largely in Judaea, but also 
the most famous are found there, and not in the whole 
of that country but specially in Jericho, although 
those growing in the valleys of Archelais and Phasehs 
and Li^-ias in the same country are also highly spoken 
of. Their outstanding property is the unctuous juice 
which they exude and an extremely sweet sort of 
wine-flavour hke that of honey. The Nicholas date ^ 
belonging to this class is not so juicy but exceptionally 
large in size, four put end to end making a length 
of eighteen inches. The date that comes next in 
sweetness is less attractive to look at, but in flavour 
is the sister of the caryotae and consequently is 
called in Greek the sister-date."^ The third class 
among these, the pateta, has too copious a supply of 
juice, and the excess of hquor of the fruit itself bursts 
open even while on the parent tree, looking hke dates 
that have been trodden on. 

Of the many drier dates the finger-date forms a 
class of its own : it is a very long slender date, 

125 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

gracilitate curvatis interim. quos ^ ex his hoiiori 
deorum damus chydaeos appellavit ludaea, gens 

47 contumelia numinum insignis. in totimi arentes 
Thebaidi atque Arabiae macroque corpore exiles, 
et adsiduo vapore torrente crustam verius quam 
cutem obducunt. in ipsa quidem Aethiopia friatur 
haec — tanta est siccitas — et farinae modo spissatur 
in panem. gignitur autem in frutice ramis cubitali- 
bus foUo latiore, pomo rotundo sed maiore quam 
mali amplitudine, coecas vocant ; triennio matu- 
rescunt, semperque frutici pomum est subnascente 

48 alio. Thebaidis fructus extemplo in cados conditur 
cum sui ardoris anima ; ni ita fiat, celeriter expirat 
marcescitque non retostus furnis. 

E rehquo genere plebeiae videntur Syriae ^ quas 
tragemata appellant ; nam in alia parte Phoenices 
CiUciaeque populari etiam nomine a nobis appellantur 

49 balani. eorum quoque pkira genera ; differunt 
figura rotunditatis aut proceritatis, difi^erunt et 
colore, nigriores ac rubentes : nec pauciores fico 
traduntur colores, maxime tamen placent candidi. 
distant et magnitudine, prout multi cubitum effecere, 
quidam sunt non ampUores faba. servantur hi 
demum qui nascuntur in salsis atque sabulosis, ut in 

^ Detlefsen : nam quas (namque uvas Mueller). 
2 Rackham : Syriae et. 

" x^^Sttto?, common, vulgar. 
* See p. 134, note 6. 

126 



BOOK XIII. IX. 46-49 

sometimes of a curved shape. The variety of this 
class which \ve ofFer to the honour of the gods is 
called chydaeus « by the Jews, a race remarkable for 
their contempt for the divine powers. All over the 
Thebaid and Arabia the dates are dry and small, 
with a shrivelled body, and as they are scorched by 
the continual heat their covering is more truly a rind 
than a skin. Indeed in Ethiopia itself the cHmate is 
so dry that the skin of these dates is rubbed into 
^owder and kneaded to make loaves of bread Hke 
flour. This date grows on a shrub,^ with branches 
eighteen inches long, a rather broad leaf, and fruit 
of a round shape, but larger than the size of an apple. 
The Greek name for this date is koix ; it comes to 
maturity in three years, and the shrub always has 
fruit on it, another date sprouting in place of one 
picked. The date of the Thebaid is packed into 
casks at once, before it has lost the aroma of its 
natural heat ; if this is not done, it quickly loses its 
freshness and dries up unless it is warmed up again 
in an oven. 

Of the rest of tlie date kind the Syrian variety, 
called sweetmeats, seem to be a low-class fruit ; for 
those in the other part of Phoenicia and Cihcia have 
the local name of acorn-dates, also used by us. 
These too are of several kinds, differing in shape, 
some rounder and others longer, and also in colour, 
some being blacker and others reddish ; indeed, 
they are reported to have as many varieties of 
colour as the fig, though the white ones are the 
most in favour. They also differ in size, many having 
reached half a yard in length while some are no 
larger than a bean. The best kinds for keeping are 
those that grow in salt and sandy soils, for instance 

127 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

ludaea atque Cyrenaica Africa, non item in Aegypto, 
Cypro, Syria, Selcucia Assyriae, quamobrem sues et 

50 reliqua animalia iis ^ saginantur. vitiati aut vetusti 
eius pomi signum est decidisse candidam verrucam 
qua racemo adhaeserint. Alexandri milites palmis 
viridibus strangulati sunt ; in Gedrosis id factum est 
pomi genere, alibi copia evenit, est enim tanta 
suavitas musteis ut finis mandendi non nisi periculo 
fiat. 

51 X. Syria praeter hanc pecuhares habet arbores: 
in nucum genere pistacia nota — prodesse adversus 
serpentium morsus traduntur et potu et cibo — in 
ficorum autem Caricas et minores eiusdem generis 
quas cottana vocant, item pruna in Damasco raonte 
nata et myxas, utramque iam famiUarem Italiae. e 
myxis in Aegypto et vina fiunt. 

52 XI. lunipiri similem habet Phoenice cedrum mino- 
rem. duo eius genera, Lycia et Phoenicia,difFerunt 
foHo ; nam quae durum, spinosum, acutum habet oxy- 
cedros vocatur, ramosa et nodis infesta altera, odore 
praestans. fructum ferunt myrti magnitudine, dul- 

53 cem sapore. et maioris cedri duo genera ; quae 
floret fructum non fert, fructifera non floret, et in ea 
antecedentem fructum occupat novus. semen eius 
cupresso simile. quidam cedrelaten vocant. ex hac 

* iis? Maylioff: ex iis. 

* Damson (Damascene). 

^ Cedrus usually = prickly juniper, but here the Phoenician 
cedar is also described and is elsewhere sometimes referred to. 

128 



BOOK XIII. IX. 49-xi. S3 

in Judaea and the Gyrenaic district of Africa ; the 
dates in Egypt, Cyprus, Syria and Seleucia in 
Assyria do not keep, and consequently are used for 
fattening swine and other stock. It is a sign that 
the fruit is spoilt or old if the white excrescence by 
which the dates are attached to the cluster has 
fallen off. Soldiers of Alexander were choked by 
eating green dates ; this effect was produced in the 
Gedrosi country by the quahty of the fruit, and 
occurs elsewhere from eating it to excess, for fresh 
dates are so sweet that people will not stop eating 
them except because of the danger. 

X. Syria has several trees that are pecuhar to it other Synan 
beside this date ; in the class of nuts the pistachio is ■^'""" ""^^** 
well-known : it is reported that taken either in food 

or in drink it is a remedy for snake-bite. In the fig 
class Syria has the Carians and smaller flgs of the same 
class called cottana, also the plum « that grows on 
Mount Damascus and the myxa, both now accHma- 
tized in Italy. In Egypt the myxa is also used for 
making wine. 

XI. Phoenicia has a small variety of cedar that re- Tfw 
sembles a juniper. It is of two kinds, the Lycian and ce^r. 
the Phoenician, which have different leaves ; the 
one with a hard, prickly, pointed leaf is called the 
oxycedros, while the other is a branchy tree and the 
wood is full of knots and has a better scent. They 
bear fruit the size of a myrtle-berry, with a sweet 
taste. The larger cedar also has two kinds, of which 
the flowering one bears no fruit, while the one that 
bears fruit does not flower, and in its case the previous 
fruit is replaced by a new one. Its seed is Hke that 

of the c}^ress. Some people caU this tree the cedar- 
pine. From it is obtained the resin held in the highest 

129 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

resina laudatissima ; materiae vero ipsi aeternitas, 
itaque et simulacra deorum ex ea factitaverunt : 
cedrinus est Romae in delubro Apollo Sosianus 
Seleucia advectus. cedro similis in Arcadia est arbor, 
in Phrygia frutex vocatur cedrys. 

54 XII. Syria et terebinthum habet. ex iis mascula 
est sine fructu, feminarum duo genera: alteri 
fructus rubet lentis magnitudine, alteri pallidus cum 
vite maturcscit, non grandior faba, odore iucundior, 
tactu osus. resincirca Iden Troadis et in Macedonia 
brevis arbor haec atque fruticosa, in Damasco Syriae 
magna. materies ei admodum lenta ac fideUs ad 
vetustatem, nigri splendoris, flos racemosus olivae 
modo, sed rubens, folia densa. fert et folUculos 
emittentes quaedam animalia ceu culices lentoremque 

55 resinosum qui et ex cortice erumpit. XIII. Et rhus 
Syriae mascula fert steriU femina, foUo ulmJ paulo 
longiore et piloso, foUorum semper inter se contrariis 
pedicuUs, graciU brevique ramo. peUes candidae 
conficiuntur iis. semen lenti simile cum uva rubescit, 
quod vocatur rhus, medicamentis necessarium. 

56 XIV. Et Aegypto multa genera quae non aUubi, 
ante omnia ficus ob id Aegyptia cognominata. 



" By Gaius Sosius, quacstor 66 b.c, who later held 
commands in the east under Antony. 

130 



BOOK XIII. XI. 53-xiv. 56 

favour, while its actual timber lasts for ever, and 
conscquently it has been the regular practice to use 
it even for making statues of the gods — the Apollo 
Sosianus in a shrine at Rome, which was brought" 
from Seleucia, is made of cedar-wood. There is a 
tree resembhng the cedar in Arcadia, and a shrub in 
Phrygia is called the cedrys. 

XII. Syria also has the turpentine-tree. Of this The 
the male variety has no fruit, but the female has two '^^^'"'^- 
kinds of fruit, one of them ruddy and the si;^e of a 
lentil, while the other is pale, and ripens at the same 
time as the grape ; it is no larger in size than a bean, 
has a rather agreeable scent, and is sticky to the 
touch. Round \Iount Ida in the Troad and in Mace- 
donia this is a low-growing shrub-Hke tree, but at 
Damascus in Syria it is big. Its wood is fairly flexible 
and remains sound to a great age ; it is of a shiny 
black colour. The flower grows in clusters hke the 
ohve, but is crimson in colour, and the foUage is thick. 
It also bears foUicles out of which come insects resem- 
bhng gnats, and which produce a sticky resinous fluid 
which also bursts out from its bark. XIII. Also the The 
male sumach-tree of S}Tia is productive, the female ^"'"^ 
being barren ; the leaf is that of an elm only a Uttle 
longer, covered with down, and the footstalks of the 
leaves ahvays lying alternately in opposite directions ; 
the branches are slender and short. The sumach is 
used for bleaching leather. The seed, which re- 
sembles a lentil, turns red at the same time as the 
grapes ; it is caUed rhus and is required for certain 
drugs. 

XIV. Egypt ako has many kinds of trees not found The 
anywhere else, before aU a fig, which is consequently ^^^ '"" '^" 
caUed the Eg}-ptian fig. The tree resembles a mul- 

131 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

arbor moro similis folio, magnitudine, aspectu, 
pomum fert non ramis sed caudice ipso, idque ficus 
est praedulcis sine granis interioribus, perquam 
fecundo proventu, scalpendo tantum ferreis unguibus, 

57 aliter non maturescit ; sed cum hoc factum est, 
quarto die demetitur alio subnascente, septeno ita 
numerosa p.-irtu per singulas aestates, item ^ multo 
lacte abundante. subnascitur, etiamsi non scalpatur, 
fetus quater aestate prioremque expellit immaturum. 
materies proprii generis inter utilissimas. caesa 
statim stagnis mergitur [hoc est eius siccari]^ et 
primo sidit, postea fluitare incipit, certoque eam 
sugit alienus umor qui aliam omnem rigat. cum 
innatare coeperit, tempestivae habet signum. 

58 XV. Huic similis quadamtenus quae vocatur Cypria 
ficus in Creta ; nam et illa ^ caudice ipso fert pomum 
et ramis cum in crassitudinem adolevere. sed haec 
germen emittit sine ullis foliis radici simile. caudex 
arboris similis populo, folium ulmo. fructus quater- 
nos fundit, totiens et germinat, sed grossus eius 
non maturescit nisi incisura emisso lacte. suavitas 
et interiora fici, magnitudo sorbi. 

59 XVI. Similis et quam lones ceroniam * vocant, 
trunco et ipsa fertiUs — pomum ^ siliqua — ob id 



1 item? Mayhoff: ita {om. v.l.). 
" Secl. Rackham (est eis Dalec). 
3 V.l. ipsa. 

* Edd. e Theophr. : ceraunia. 
^ V.l. sed pomum. 



BOOK XIII. XIV. 56-xvi. 59 

berry in foliage, size and appearance ; it bears its 
fruit not on the branches but on the trunk itself, and 
this is an exceedingly sweet fig without seeds inside 
it. There is an extremely prolific yield, but only if 
incisions are made in the fruit with iron hooks, other- 
wise it does not ripen ; but when this is done, it can 
be plucked three days later, another fig forming in 
its place, the tree thus scoring seven crops of ex- 
tremely juicy figs in a summer. Even if the incisions 
are not made new fruit forms under the old and drives 
out its predecessor before it is ripe four times in a 
summer. The wood of this fig is of a pecuUar 
kind, and is one of the most useful there is. As soon 
as it is cut it is plunged into a marsh, and at first 
sinks to the bottom, but afterwards begins to float, 
and it is clear that moisture not belonging to it, 
which soaks into all other timber, drains the sap out 
of this. When it begins to float on the surface, 
this is its sign that the timber is ready for use. 

XV. A tree to some extent resembUng the Egyptian The Cypria 
fig is one in Crete caUed the Cyprian fig, as it also ^' 
bears fruit on its actual trunk and on its branches 

when they have grown to thickness. But the Cj^rian 
fig puts out a bud without any leaves, resembUng a 
root. The trunk of the tree is Uke a poplar, and the 
leaf Uke an ehn. It bears fruit four times a year, 
and also buds the same number of times, but its 
unripe figs wiU not ripen unless an incision is made in 
them to let out the juice. They have the sweet taste 
and the inside of the common fig, and are the size of 
a service-tree berry. 

XVI. Another similar tree is the one caUed by st. John's 
the lonians the ceronia, which also buds from the '""^'^ 
trunk, the fruit being a pod, which has consequently 



PLINY : NATURAL HISTORY 

quidam Aegyptiam ficum dixere errore manifesto ; 
non enim in Aegypto nascitur sed in Syria loniaque 
et circa Cnidum atque in Rhodo, semper comantibus 
foliis, flore candido cum vehementia odoris, plantigera 
imis partibus et ideo superficie flavescens, sucum 
auferente subole. pomo antecedentis anni circa 
canis ortus detracto statim alterum parit, postea 
floret per arcturum, hieme fetus eius nutriente. 

60 XVIL Aegyptus et perseam ^ arborem sui generis 
habet, similem piro, foUa retinentem. fertiUtas 
adsidua eius, subnascente crastino fructu, maturitas 
etesiarum adflatu. pomum longius piro, inclusum 
amygdalae putamine et corio colore herbido, sed ubi 
nux iUi, huic prunum differens brevitate ac moUitia 
et, quamvis blandiatur praedulcis suavitas, innocuum. 

61 materies bonitate, firmitudine, nigritia quoque nihil 
differens a loto ; simulacra et ex ea factitavere. non 
eadem gratia quamquam fideU materiae ex arbore 
quam balanum appeUavimus, magna ex parte contor- 

62 ta ; navaUs itaque tantum est. XVIII. At e diverso 
cuci in magno honore, pahnae simiUs, quando et eius 
foUis utuntur ad textiUa; differt quod in bracchia 
ramorum spargitur. pomo magnitudo quae manum 

^ Edd. e Theophr. : Persicum. 



* The Mimusops Schimperi. 

* Hyphaene thebaica. 

134 



BOOK XIII. XVI. 59-.\viii. 62 

been called by some the Egyptian fig. But this is 
clearly a mistake, as it does not grow in Egypt but 
in Syria and lonia. and also in the neighbourhood of 
Cnidus and on the island of llhodes. It is always in 
fuU foHage, and it has a white flower with a powerful 
scent. It sends out shoots at the lower parts, and 
consequently is of a yellow colour above ground, as 
the suckers drain away the sap. If the fruit of the 
preceding year is picked about the rising of the Dog- 
star, it at once grows a second crop, after which it 
blossoms through the period of the Bear-ward, and 
the winter nourishes its fruit. 

XVII. Egypt also possesses a tree of a peculiar kind Egyptian 
called the persea,'^ which resembles a pear but is an p^sea, 
evergreen. It bears fruit without intermission, as^^J^-'^'^' 
when it is plucked a fresh crop sprouts the next day, 
but its season for ripening is when the midsummer 
winds are blowing. The fruit is longer than a pear, 
and is enclosed in a shell Hke an almond and a rind 
the colour of grass, but where the almond has a 
kernel this has a plum, which differs from an almond 
kernel in being short and soft, and although tempt- 
ingly sweet and luscious, is quite wholesome. The 
wood is just like that of the lotus for goodness and 
soundness and also in its black colour, and it too 
has liabitually been used for making statues. The 
timber of the tree we have mentioned called the § ^^- 
behen-nut, although rehable, is not so highly valued, 
as a large proportion of it has a twisted grain, so it is 
only used for ship-building. XVTII. But on the con- 
trarv the cuci ^ is in great esteem ; this tree re- 
sembles a palm in that its leaves are also used for 
textiles, but it differs because it spreads out into 
branches Hke arms. The fruit is of a size that fills 

^35 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

impleat, colos fulvus, commendabili suco ex austero 
dulci. lignum intus grande firmaeque duritiae, ex 
quo velares detornant anulos ; in eo nucleus dulcis 
dum recens est : siccatus durescit ad infmitum ut 
mandi non possit nisi sit ^ pluribus diebus maceratus. 
materies crispioris elegantiae et ob id Persis gratissima. 

63 XIX. Nec minus spina celebratur in eadem gente 
dumtaxat nigra, quoniam incorrupta etiam in aquis 
durat, ob id utilissima navium costis; e^ candida^ 
facile putrescunt. aculei spinarum et in foliis, semen 
in siliquis quo coria perficiunt gallae vice. flos et 
coronis iucundus et medicamentis utilis ; manat et 
cummis ex ea. sed praecipua utilitas quod caesa anno 
tertio resurgit. circa Thebas haec, ubi et quercus 
et persea et oliva, ccc a Nilo stadiis silvestri tractu 

64 et suis fontibus riguo. Ibi et prunus Aegyptia, non 
dissimihs spinae proxime dictae, pomo mespili, matu- 
rescens bruma nec foUa demittens. lignum in pomo 
grande, sed corpus ipsum natura et copia messium 
instar incoUs; purgatum enim tundunt servantque 

65 eius ofFas. silvestris fuit et circa Memphin regio 
tam vastis arboribus ut terni non quirent circumplecti, 

^ Mayhojf : nisi si. 
2 e add. ? Mayhoff. 
^ V.l. candide {edd. candidae). 

136 



BOOK XIII. XVIII. 62-xix. 65 

the hand; its colour is yellow and its juice has an 
attractive sweet taste, with a touch of astringency. 
It has a large and very hard shell inside, which is iLsed 
by turners for making curtain-rings, and inside the 
shell is a kernel which has a sweet taste while fresh, 
but which when dried goes on getting continually 
harder and harder, so that it can only be eaten after 
being soaked in water for several days. The wood has 
a rather uneven grain that is most attractive, and it 
is consequently very much admired by the Persians. 
XIX. Also thorn-wood is equally esteemed in the same 
country, that is, the wood of a black thorn, as it 
lasts without decaying even in Mater, and is conse- 
quently extremely serviceable for the ribs of ships ; 
timbers made of a white thorn rot easily. It has sharp 
thorns even on the leaves, and seed in pods that is 
used instead of oak-galls in dressing leather. The 
blossom has a pleasing effect in garlands and also 
makes a valuable medicine ; also the tree distils gum. 
But its most valuable property is that when cut do\\Ti 
it shoots up again two years later. This thorn grows 
in the neighbourhood of Thebes, where oak, persea 
and olive are also found, in a forest region nearly 
40 miles from the Nile, watered by springs that 
rise in it. This region also contains the Egyptian 
plum-tree, which is not unUke the thorn last men- 
tioned; its fruit resembles a medlar, and ripens in 
the winter, and the tree is an evergreen. The fruit 
contains a large stone, but the fleshy part, owing to 
its nature and to the abundance in which it grows, 
provides the natives with quite a harvest, as after 
cleaning it they crush it and make it into cakes for 
storage. There was also once a forest region round 
Memphis with such huge trees that three men could 

137 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

uniiis peculiari miraculo, nec pomum propter usumve 
aliquem, sed eventum : facies est spinae, folia habet 
ceu pinnas quae tactis ab homine ramis cadunt pro- 
tinus ac postea renascuntur. 

66 XX. Cummim optimam esse ex Aeg)^tia spina 
convenit, vermiculatam, colore glauco, puram, sine 
cortice, dentibus adhaerentem ; pretium eius in 
hbras X iii. deterior ex amygdahs amaris et ceraso, 

67 pessima e prunis. fit et in vitibus infantium ulceribus 
aptissima, et ahquando in olea dentium dolori, ulmo 
etiam in Coryco monte Cihciae ac iunipiro ad nihil 
utiles, ex ulmi vero cummi et cuhces ibi nascuntur. 
fit et e sarcocoUa — ita vocatur et ^ arbor et cummis — 
utihssima pictoribus ac medicis, simihs pohini turis, 
et ideo candida quam rufa mehor ; pretium eius quod 
supra. 

68 XXI. Nondum pahistria attigimus nec frutices am- 
nium. prius tamen quam digrediamur ab Aegypto et 
papyri natura dicetur,cum chartae usu maxime huma- 

69 nitas vitae constet,certe memoria. et hanc Alexandri 
Magni victoria repertam auctor est M. Varro, condita 
in Aegypto Alexandria ; antea non fuisse chartarum 

1 et add. Rackham. 
" The Persian Penata sarcocolla. 

138 



BOOK XIII. XIX. 65-xxi. 69 

not join hands round the trunks ; and one of them 
was particularly remarkable, not because of its fruit 
or its utiUty for some purpose, but on account of the 
circumstance that it has the appearance of a thorn, 
but leaves resembUng wings, which when somebody 
touches the branches at once fall off and afterwards 
sprout again. 

XX. It is agreed that the Egyptian thorn suppHes EgypHan 
the best kind of gum ; it is of a streaked appearance, ^"'"* 
grey in colour, clean and free from bark, and it sticks 

to the teeth ; its price is 3 denarii per pound. The 
gum produced from the bitter almond and the cherry 
is inferior, and that from plum-trees is the worst 
kind of all. A gum also forms in the vine which is 
extremely valuable for children's sores, and the gum 
sometimes found in the oUve-tree is good for toothache; 
but the gums also found in the ekn on Mount Corycus 
in CiUcia and in the juniper are of no use for anything, 
indeed elm-tree gum there even breeds gnats. Also 
a gum exudes from the sarcocoUa " — that is the name 
of the tree and also of the gum — which is extremely 
useful both to painters and to medical men ; it 
resembles incense dust, and for the purposes men- 
tioned the white kind is better than the red ; its 
price is the one mentioned above. 

XXI. \Ve have not yet touched on the marsh-plants Papynis: 
nor the shrubs that grow by rivers. But before we pa^!*^'^ 
leave Egypt we shall also describe the nature of 
papvrus, since our civiUzation or at aU events our 
records depend very largely on the employment of 
paper. According to Marcus Varro we ow^e even the 
discovery of paper to the victory of Alexander the 
Great, when he founded Alexandria in Egypt,before 
which time paper was not used. First of aU people 

139 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

usum. in palmarum foliis primo scriptitatum, dein 
quarundam arborum libris, postea publica monu- 
menta plumbeis voluminibus, mox et privata linteis 
confici coepta aut ceris : pugillarium enim usum 
fuisse etiam ante Troiana tempora invenimus apud 
Homerum, illo vero prodente ne terram quidem 
ipsam, quae nunc Aegyptus intellegitur, cum in 
Sebennytico et Saitico nomis ^ charta nascatur, postea 

70 adaggeratam Nilo, siquidem a Pharo insula, quae 
nunc Alexandriae ponte iungitur, noctis dieique 
vehfico navigii cursu terram afuisse prodidit. mox, 
aemulatione circa bibhothecas regum Ptolemaei et 
Eumenis, supprimente chartas Ptolemaeo, idem Varro 
membranas Pergami tradit repertas ; postea pro- 
miscue patuit usus rei qua constat immortahtas 
hominum. 

71 XXII. PapyrumergonasciturinpalustribusAegypti 
aut quiescentibus Nih aquis ubi evagatae stagnant duo 
cubita non excedente altitudine gurgitum, bracchiali 
radicis obhquae crassitudine, trianguhs lateribus, 
decem non amphus cubitorum longitudine in gracih- 
tatem fastigatum, thyrsi modo cacumen includens, 
nullo semine aut usu eius aho quam floris ad deos 

72 coronandos. radicibus incolae pro hgno utuntur, nec 
ignis tantum gratia sed ad aha quoque utensiha 
vasorum ; ex ipso quidem papyro navigia texunt et e 

* Warmington : Saite eius nomo omnis {fortasse recte). 



" Pergamena, Hepyafirjvri. 

^" A rod carried by worshippers of Bacchus, topped by a 
fir-cone or a chister of grapes or figs. 

' As a matter of fact it has a seed, though not easily 
perceptible. 

140 



BOOK XIII. XXI. 69-xAii. 72 

used to write on palm-leaves and then on the bark 
of certain trees, and afterwards folding sheets of 
lead began to be employed for official muniments, 
and then also sheets of Hnen or tablets of wax for 
private documents ; for we find in Homer that the //. vi. ig8. 
use of writing-tablets existed even before theTrojan 
period, but when he was ^\Titing even the hind itself 
which is now thought of as Egypt did not exist as such, 
while now paper grows in the Sebennytic and Saitic 
nomes of Egypt, the land having been subsequently 
heaped up by the Nile, inasmuch as Homer wrote that 
the island of Pharos, which is now joined to Alexan- 
dria by a bridge, was twenty-four hours' distance 
by sailing-ship from the land. Subsequently, also 
according to Varro, when owing to the rivalry be- 
tween King Ptolemy and King Eumenes about their 
libraries Ptolemy suppressed the export of paper, 
parchment " was invented at Pergamum ; and after- 
wards the employment of the material on which the 
immortahty of human beings depends spread indis- 
criminately. 

XXII. Papyrus then grows in the swamps of Egypt Papyru» 
or else in the sluggish waters of the Nile where they ^otm. 
have overflowed and he stagnant in pools not more 
than about three feet in depth ; it has a sloping root 
as thick as a man's arm, and tapers gracefully up 
with triangular sides to a length of not more than 
about 15 feet, ending in a head Hke a thyrsus * ; 
it has no seed,<^ and is of no use except that the 
flowers are made into wreaths for statues of the gods. 
The roots are employed by the natives for timber, 
and not only to serve as firewood but also for making 
various utensils and vessels; indeed the pap^Tus 
itself is plaited to make boats, and the inner bark is 

141 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

libro vela tegetesque, nec non et vestem, etiam 
stragula ac funes. mandunt quoque crudum de- 
coctumque, sucum tantum devorantes. 

73 Nascitur et in Syria circa quem odoratus ille 
calamus lacum, neque aliis usus est quam inde funibus 
rex Antigonus in navalibus rebus, nondum sparto 
communicato. nuper et in Euphrate nascens circa 
Babylonem papyrum intellectum est eundem usum 
habere chartae ; et tamen adhuc malunt Parthi 
vestibus Htteras intexere, 

74 XXIII. Praeparatur ex eo charta diviso acu in prae- 
tenues sed quam latissimas philyras ^ ; principatus 
medio, atque inde scissurae ordine. prima ^ hiera- 
tica appellabatur antiquitus rehgiosis tantum volu- 
minibus dicata, quae adulatione Augusti nomen 
accepit, sicut secunda Liviae a coniuge eius : ita 

75 descendit hieratica in tertium nomen. proximum 
amphitheatricae ^ datum fuerat a confecturae loco. 
excepit hanc Romae Fanni sagax officina, tenua- 
tamque curiosa interpolatione principalem fecit e 
plebeia et nomen ei dedit; quae non esset ita re- 

76 curata in suo mansit amphitheatrica.^ post hanc 

1 fibras Birt. ^ prima add. Birt. 

3 V.ll. amphitheatriticae, amphitheatritica. 

* The amphitheatre of Alexandria. 
142 



BOOK XIII. XXII. 72-xxiii. 76 

woven into sail-cloth and matting, and also cloth, 
as well as blankets and ropes. It is also used as 
chewing-gum, both in the raw state and when boiled, 
though only the juice is swallowed. 

Papyrus also grows in Syria on the borders of the 
lake round which grows the scented flag already xii. 104 
mentioned, and King Antiochus would only allow 
ropes made from this Syrian papyrus to be used in 
his navy, the employment of esparto not yet having 
become general. It has recently been realized that 
papyrus growing in the Euphrates near Babylon can 
also be used in the same way for paper ; nevertheless 
up to the present the Parthians prefer to embroider 
letters upon cloths. 

XXIII. The process of making paper from papyrus Manufactwe 
is to spht it with a needle into very thin strips made ^^p^p^- 
as broad as possible, the best quahty being in the 
centre of the plant, and so on in the order of its 
sphtting up. The first quaUty used to be called 
' hieratic paper ' and was in early times devoted 
solely to books connected with rehgion, but in a 
spirit of flattery it was given the name of Augustus, 
just as the second best was called ' Livia paper ' 
after his consort, and thus the name ' hieratic ' came 
down to the third class. The next quahty had been 
given the name of * amphitheatre paper,' from the 
place of its manufacture.« This paper was taken 
over by the clever workshop of Fannius at Rome, 
and its texture was made finer by a careful process 
of insertion, so that it was changed from common 
paper into one of first-class quahty, and received 
the name of the maker ; but the paper of this kind 
that did not have this additional treatment remained 
in its own class as amphitheatre paper. Next to this 

143 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

Saitica ab oppido ubi maxima fertilitas, ex vilioribus 
ramentis, propiorque etiamnum cortici Taeneotica 
a vicino loco, pondere iam haec, non bonitate, venalis. 
nam emporitica inutilis scribendo involucris chartarum 
segestribusque mercium ^ usum praebet, ideo a 
mercatoribus cognominata. post hanc papyrum est 
extremumque eius scirpo simile ac ne funibus quidem 
nisi in umore utile. 

77 Texitur omnis madente tabula Nili aqua : turbidus 
Hquor vim glutinis praebet. in rectum primo supina 
tabulae schida adUnitur longitudine papyri quae 
potuit esse resegminibus utrimque amputatis, tra- 
versa postea crates peragit. premitur ergo prelis, 
et siccantur sole plagulae atque inter se iunguntur, 
proximarum semper bonitatis deminutione ad deterri- 
mas. numquam plures scapo quam vicenae. 

78 XXIV. Magna in latitudine earum difFerentia: 
XIII digitorum optimis, duo detrahuntur hieraticae, 
Fanniana denos habet, et uno minus amphitheatrica,^ 
pauciores Saitica nec malleo sufficit, nam emporiticae 
brevitas sex digitos non excedit. praeterea spec- 
tantur in chartis tenuitas, densitas, candor, levor. 

79 primatum mutavit Claudius Caesar. nimia quippe 

^ Rackkam (merciumque segestribus ? Mayhoff) : seges- 
triumque mercibus. 

2 V.ll. amphitheatriticae, amphitheatritica. 

144 



BOOK XIII. XXIII. 76-xxiv. 79 

is the Saitic paper named from the town where it is 
prodiiced in the greatcst abundance, being made from 
shavings of inferior quality, and the Taeneotic, from a 
neigh])ouring place, made from material still nearer 
the outside skin,in the case of which we reach a variety 
that is sold by mere weight and not for its quahty. 
As for what is called ' emporitic ' paper, it is no good 
for writing but serves to provide covers for documents 
and wrappers for merchandise, and consequently 
takes its name from the Greek word for a merchant. 
After this comes the actual papyrus, and its outer- 
most layer, which resembles a rush and is of no use 
even for making ropes except those used in water. 

Paper of all kinds is ' woven ' on a board moistened 
with water from the Nile, muddy Hquid supplying 
the effect of glue. First an upright layer is smeared 
on to the table, using the full length of papyrus 
available after the trimmings have been cut off at 
both ends, and afterwards cross strips complete the 
lattice-work. The next step is to press it in presses, 
and the sheets are dried in the sun and then joined 
together, the next strip used always diminishing in 
quahty down to the worst of all. There are never 
more than twenty sheets to a roll. 

XXIV. There is a great difference in the breadth yarieiieso/ 
of the various kinds of paper : the best is thirteen 
inches wide, the hieratic two inches less, the Fannian 
measures ten inches and the amphitheatre paper one 
less, while the Saitic is still fewer inches across and 
is not as wide as the mallet used in making it, as 
the emporitic kind is so narrow that it does not 
exceed six inches. Other points looked at in paper 
are fineness, stoutnoss, whiteness and smoothness. 
The status of best quaUty was altered by the 

145 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

Augustae tenuitas tolerandis non sufficiebat calamis ; 
ad hoc tramittens litteras liturae metum adferebat 
ex aversis, et alias indecoro visu pertralucida. igitur 
e secundo corio statumina facta sunt, e primo subte- 

80 mina. auxit et latitudinem pedali mensura. erat et 
cubitalis macrocolis, sed ratio deprehendit vitium 
unius schidae revolsione plures infestante paginas, 
ob haec praelata omnibus Claudia, Augustae in 
epistuUs auctoritas reUcta ; Liviana suam tenuit, cui 
nihil e prima erat sed omnia e secunda. 

81 XXV. Scabritia levigatur dente conchave, sed 
caducae Utterae fiunt: minus sorbet poUtura charta, 
magis splendet. rebeUat saepe umor incuriose datus 
primo, maUeoque deprehenditur, aut etiam odore cum 
cura ^ fuit indiUgentior. deprehenditur et lentigo 
ocuUs, sed inserta mediis glutinamentis taenea fungo 
papyri bibula vix nisi Uttera fundente se: tantum 
inest fraudis. aUus igitur iterum texendis labor. 

1 cura add. Mayhojf. 

" *Long-limbed,' in long strips ; Cicero, ad Atf. XVI. 3. 
1 and XIII. 253, and some MSS. here also give macrocollum, 
' long-glued,' made of strips pasted together. 

146 



BOOK XIII. xAiv. 79-xxv. 8i 

emperor Claudius. The reason was that the thin 
paper of the period of Augustus was not strong 
enough to stand the friction of the pen, and moreover 
as it let the writing show through there was a fear 
of a smudge being caused by what was WTitten on 
the back, and the great transparency of the paper 
had an unattractive look in other respects. Conse- 
quently the foundation was made of leaves of second 
quahty and the woof or cross layer of leaves of the 
first quahty. Claudius also increased the width of 
the sheet, making it a foot across. There were also 
eighteen-inch sheets called ' macrocola,' « but 
examination detected a defect in them, as tearing 
ofF a single strip damaged several pages. On this 
account Claudius paper has come to be preferred to 
all other kinds, although the Augustus kind still 
holds the field for correspondence ; but Livia paper, 
having no quahty of a first-class kind, but being 
entirely second class, has retained its position. 

XXV. Roughness is smoothed out with a piece of Finishing 
ivory or a shell, but this makes the lettering apt to fade, ^^"^^''** 
as owing to the polish so given the paper does not 
take the ink so well, but has a shinier surface. The 
damping process if carelessly appUed often causes 
difficulty in writing at first, and it can be detected 
by a blow with the mallet, or even by the musty smell 
if the process has been rather carelessly carried out. 
Spottiness also may be detected by the eye, but a bad 
porous strip found inserted in the middle of the pasted 
joins, owing to the sponginess of the papyrus, sucks up 
the ink and so can scarcely be detected except when 
the ink of a letter runs : so much opportunity is there 
for cheating. The consequence is that another task is 
added to the process of paper-weaving. 

147 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

82 XXVI. Glutinum vulgare e pollinis flore tempera- 
tur fervente aqua, minimo aceti aspersu, nam fabrile 
cummisque fragilia sunt. diligentior cura mollia 
panis fermentati colat ^ aqua fervente ; minimum 
hoc modo intergerivi, atque etiam lini ^ lenitas 
superatur. omne autem glutinum nec vetustius 
esse debet uno die nec recentius. postea malleo 
tenuatur et glutino percurritur, iterumque con- 

83 stricta^ erugatur atque extenditur malleo. ita sint 
longinqua monimenta: Tiberi Gaique Gracchorum 
manus apud Pomponium Secundum vatem civemque 
clarissimum vidi annos fere post ducentos ; iam vero 
Ciceronis ac divi Augusti Vergilique saepenumero 
videmus. 

84 XXVII. Ingentia exempla contra M. Varronis 
sententiam de chartis reperiuntur. namque Cassius 
Hemina, vetustissimus auctor annalium, quarto 
eorum libro prodidit Cn. Terentium scribam agrum 
suum in laniculo repastinantem effodisse arcam in 

85 qua Numa qui Romae regnavit situs fuisset; in 
eadem libros eius repertos P. Cornelio L. filio Ce- 
thego, M. Baebio Q. filio Tamphilo cos. ad qaos a 
regno Numae coUiguntur anni dxxxv ; hos fuisse 
e charta, maiore etiamnum miraculo, quod infossi du- 

1 Mayhoff : colata. - V.l. Nili. 

^ V.l. conscripta (concrispata Birt). 

148 



BOOK XIII. XXVI. 82-xxvii. 85 

XXVI. The common kind of paste for papcr is made Pastefor 
of fine flour of tlie best quality mixed with boihng ^pJ!^ 
water, with a very small sprinkle of vinegar ; for car- 
penter's paste and gum make too brittle a compound. 

But a more careful process is to strain the crumb of 
leavened bread in boiHng water ; this method requires 
the smallest amount of paste at the seams, and pro- 
duces a paper softer than even linen. But all the paste 
used ought to be exactly a day old — not more nor yet 
less. Afterwards the paper is beaten thin with a 
mallet and run over with a layer of paste, and then 
again has its creases removed by pressure and is 
flattened out with the mallet. This process may 
enable records to last a long time ; at the house of 
the poet and most distinguished citizen Pomponius 
Secundus I have seen documents in the hand of 
Tiberius and Gaias Gracchus written nearly two 
hundred years ago ; while as for autographs of Cicero, 
of his late Majesty Augustus, and of Virgil, we see 
them constantly. 

XXVII. There are important instances forthcoming History oj 
that make against the opinion of Marcus Varro in ^^^ 
regard to the history of paper. Cassius Hemina, a 
historian of great antiquity, has stated in his Annals, 

Book IV, that the secretary Gnaeus Terentius, when 
digging over his land on the Janiculan, turned up a 
cofFer that had contained the body of Numa, who was 
king at Rome, and that in the same coffer were found 
some books of his — this was in the consulship of Pubhus 18I b.o. 
CorneHus Cethegus, son of Lucius, and of Marcus 
Baebius Tamphilus, son of Quintus, dating 535 years 
after the accession of Numa ; and the historian says 
that the books were made of paper, which makes the 
matter still more remarkable, because of their having 

149 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

raverint — quapropter in re tanta ipsius Heminae 

86 verba ponam : ' Mirabantur alii quomodo illi libri 
durare possent ; ille ita rationem reddebat : lapidem 
fuisse quadratiun circiter in raedia arca vinctum 
candelis quoquoversus ; in eo lapide insuper libros 
III sitos ^ fuisse : se ^ propterea arbitrarier non 
computruisse ; et libros citratos fuisse : propterea 
arbitrarier tineas non tetigisse. in iis libris scriptae ^ 
erant philosophiae Pythagoricae — eosque combustos 
a Q. PetiUo praetore [quia philosophiae scripta 

87 essent].* hoc idem tradit Piso censorius primo 
commentariorum, sed hbros septem iuris pontificii, 
totidem Pythagoricos fuisse ; Tuditanus tertio de- 
cumo Numae decretorum hbros xii ^ fuisse ; ipse 
Varro humanarum antiquitatum vii, Antias se- 
cundo hbros fuisse xii pontificales Latinos, totidem 
Graecos praecepta philosophiae continentes ; idem 

88 tertio et SC^ ponit quo comburi eos placuerit. inter 
omnes vero convenit Sibyllam ad Tarquinium Su- 
perbum tres hbros adtuhsse, ex quibus sint duo 
cremati ab ipsa, tertius cum Capitoho SuUanis 
temporibus. praeterea Mucianus ter cos. prodidit 
nuper se legisse, cum praesideret Lyciae, Sarpedonis 

^ m sitos Mayhojf : insitos (m sepositos Detlefsen). 

^ se add. Rackham. 

^ Madvig : scripta. 

^ Secl. Rackham : v.l. om. essent. 

•'' libros xn add. Gelen. 

* Urlichs : et se. 



" The reason ia probably an interpolation. 



BOOK XIII. XXVII. 85-88 

lasted in a hole in the ground, and consequently on a 
point of such importance I will quote the words of 
Hemina himself : ' Other people wondered how 
those books could have lasted so long, but Terentius's 
explanation was that about in the middle of the 
coffer there had been a square stone tied all round 
with waxed cords, and that the three books had been 
placed on the top of this stone ; and he thought this 
position was the reason why they had not decayed ; 
and that the books had been soaked in citrus-oil, 
and he thought that this was why they were not 
moth-eaten. These books contained the philoso- 
phical doctrines of Pythagoras ' — and Hemina said 
that the books had been burnt by the praetor 
Quintus Petilius because they were \\Titings of 
philosophy.<^ The same story is recorded by Piso the 
former Censor in his Commentaries, Book I, but he 
says that there were seven volumes of pontifical law 
and the same number of Pythagorean philosophy ; 
while Tuditanus in Book XIII says that there were 
twelve volumes of the Decrees of Numa ; Varro him- 
self says that there were seven volumes of Antiquities 
of Man, and Antias in his Second Book speaks of 
there having been twelve volumes On Matters 
Pontifical written in Latin and the same number in 
Greek containing Doctrines of Philosophy ; Antias 
also quotes in Book III a Resolution of the Senate 
deciding that these volumes were to be burnt. It is 
iiowever universally agreed that the Sibyl brought 
three volumes to Tarquin the Proud, of which two 
were bumt by herself while the third was destroyed 
in the burning of the Capitol in the Sulla crisis. 
Moreover the Mucianus who was three times consul 
has stated that recently, when govemor of Lycia, he 

151 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

ab Troia scriptam in quodam templo epistulae 
chartam, quod eo magis miror si etiamnum Homero 
condente Aegyptus non erat : aut cur, si iam hic erat 
usus, in plumbeis Unteisque voluminibus scriptitatum 
constet, curve Homerus in ipsa illa Lycia Bellero- 
phonti codicillos datos, non epistulas,^ tradiderit? 

89 sterilitatem sentit hoc quoque, factumque iam Tiberio 
principe inopia chartae ut e senatu darentur arbitri 
dispensandae : aUas in tumultu vita erat. 

90 XXVIII. Aethiopia Aegypto contermina insignes 
arbores non fere habet praeter laniferam, quahs 
Indorum atque Arabiae dicta est. propior tamen 
huic natura lanae maiorque folHculus granati modo 
mah, similesque et inter se arbores ipsae. praeter 
hanc palmae quales retuUmus. insularum arbores 
ambitu Aethiopiae et nemora odorata in mentione 
earum dicta sunt. 

91 XXIX. Atlans mons pecuUari proditur silva, de qua 
diximus. confines ei Mauri, quibus plurima arbor 
citri et mensarum insania quas feminae viris contra 

92 margaritas regerunt. exstat hodie M. Ciceronis in 
iUa paupertate et, quod magis mirum est, iUo aevo 

^ [non epistulas] ? Rackham. 



" 1 .e. cotton, German ' Baumwolle ' = ' tree wool.' See 
XII. 38 ff. 



BOOK XIII. XXVII. 88-\xix. 92 

had read in a certain temple a letter of Sarpedon 
written on paper at Troy — which seems to me even 
more remarkable if even when Homer was writing, 
Egypt did not yet exist : otherwise why, if paper was 
already in use, is it known to have been the custom 
to write on folding tablets made of lead or sheets 
of linen, or why has Homer stated that even in n. vi. 168. 
Lycia itself woodcn tablets, and not letters, were 
given to Bellerophon ? This commodity also is 
liable to dearth, and as early as the principate 
of Tiberius a shortage of paper led to the appoint- 
ment from the senate of umpires to supervise 
its distribution, as otherwise life was completely 
upset. 

XXVni. Ethiopia, which is on the borders of Egypt, Ethiopian 
has virtually no remarkable trees except the mooI- '^'"^"' 
tree,« Jike the one described among the trees of 
India and Arabia. However, the Ethiopian variety xii. 38 ff. 
has a much woollier consistency, and a larger pod, 
like that of a pomegranate, and also the trees them- 
selves resemble each other. Beside the wool-tree 
there are also palms of the kind which w e have §§ 2S flf. 
described. The trees and the scented forests of the 
islands round the coast of Ethiopia have becn spoken 
of when those islands were mentioned. vi. ins f . 

XXIX. Mount Atlas is said to possess a forest of a Citnis-wood 
remarkable character, about which we have spoken. ^^ ' 
Adjoining Mount Atlas is Mauretania, which pro- 
duces a great many citrus-trees — and the table- 
mania which the ladies use as a retort to the men 
against the charge of extravagance in pearls. There 
still exists a table that belonged to Marcus Cicero for 
which with his slender resources and, what is more sur- 
prising, at that date, he paid half-a-miUion sesterces; 

VOL, IV. F ^^^ 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

empta HS d; memoratur et Galli Asini HS |x[. 
venumdatae sunt et duae ab luba rege pendcntes 
quarum alteri pretium fuit HS |xii|, alteri paulo 
minus. interiit nuper incendio a Cethegis descendens 
HS [xTii! permutata, latifundii taxatione, si quis 

93 praedia tanti mercari malit. magnitudo amplissimis 
adhuc fuit : uni commissae ex orbibus dimidiatis 
duobus a rege Mauretaniae Ptolemaeo quattuor 
pedes et semipedem per medium ambitum, crassi- 
tudine quadrantah — maiusque miraculum in ea est 
artis latente iunctura quam potuisset esse naturae — 
sohdae autem ^ a Nomio Caesaris hberto cognomen 
trahenti tribus sicihcis infra quattuor pedes totidem- 

94 que infra pedem crassitudinis. qua in re non omit- 
tendum videtur Tiberio principi mensam quattuor 
pedes sextante et sicihco excedentem, tota vero 
crassitudine sescmiciah, operimento lamnae vestitam 
fuisse, cum tam opima Nomio hberto eius esset. 

95 tuber hoc est radicis, maximeque laudatum quod 
sub terra totum fuerit et rarius quam quae superne 
gignuntur etiam in ramis ; proprieque quod tanti 
emitur arborum vitium est, quarum amphtudo ac 
radices aestimari possunt ex orbibus. sunt autem 
cupresso feminae atque etiamnum silvestri similes 
foho, odore, caudice. Ancorarius mons vocatur 
Citerioris Mauretaniae qui laudatissimam dedit 
citrum, iam exhaustus. 

^ itcm Gelen. 



BOOK Xlll. XXIX. 92-95 

and also one is recorded as belonging to Gallus 
Asinius that cost a million. Also two hanging tables 
were sold at auction by King Juba, of which one 
fetched 1,200,000 sesterces and the other a httle less. 
A table that was lately destroyed in a fire came down 
from the Cethegi and had changed hands at 1,300,000 
sesterces — the price of a large estate, supposing 
somebody preferred to devote so large a sum to the 
purchase of landed property. The size of the largest 
tables hitherto has been : one made by Ptolemy, 
king of Mauretania, out of two semicircular slabs of 
wood joined together, 4i ft. in diameter and 3 in. thick 
— and the invisibihty of the join makes the table more 
marvellous as a work of art than it could possibly have 
been if a product of nature — and a single slab bear- 
ing the name of Nomius a freedman of the Emperor 
which is 3 ft. 11 J in. across and 11 J in. thick. Under 
this head it seems proper to include a table that be- 
longed to the Emperor Tiberius which was 4 ft. 2J in. 
across, and 1 J in. thick all over, but was only covered 
with a veneer of citrus-wood, although the one 
belonging to his freedman Nomius was so sumptuous. 
The material is an excrescence of the root, and is 
very greatly admired when it grows entirely under- 
ground, and so is more uncommon than the knobs 
that grow above ground, on the branches as well as on 
the trunk ; and the timber bought at so high a price 
is in reahty a disease of the trees, the size and the 
roots of which can be judged from the circular table- 
tops. In foliage, scent and the appearance of the 
trunk these trees resemble the female cypress, which 
is also a forest tree. A mountain called Ancorarius 
in Hither Mauretania provided the most celebrated 
citrus-wood, but the supply is now exhausted. 

155 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

96 XXX. Mensis praecipua dos in venam crispis vel in 
vertices parvos. illud oblongo evenit discursu ideoque 
tigrinum appellatur, hoc intorto, et ideo tales panthe- 
rinae vocantur. sunt et undatim crispae, maiore gratia 

97 si pavonum caudae oculos imitentur. magna, verum 
post has, gratia extra praedictas crispis densa veluti 
grani congerie, quas ob id a simiHtudine apiatas 
vocant. summa vero omnium in colore : hic maxime 
mulsi placet, vinis suis refulgens. post haec ampli- 
tudo est : iam toti caudices iuvant, pluresque in una. 

98 Mensae vitia lignum — ita vocatur materiae surda 
et indigesta simphcitas aut platani foliorum modo 
digesta, item ihgnae venae simihtudo vel coloris — et, 
quibus maxime obnoxias fecere aestus ventique, rimae 
aut capillamenta rimas imitata ; postea murenae ^ 
nigro transcurrens limite variisque cornicum ^ punctis 
adprehensus papaverum modo^ et in totum atro 

99 propior colos maculaeve discolores. virides terra 
condunt barbari et inUnunt cera, artifices vero fru- 
menti acervis inponunt septenis diebus totidem inter- 
missis, mirumque ponderi quantum ita detrahatur. 

1 Warmington : murena. 

2 Hardouin : corticum aut coruum. 

3 V.l. nodo. 



» Cf. below, § 99 firi. 



156 



BOOK XIII. XXX. 96-99 

XXX. The outstanding merit of citrus-wood tables is 
to have wavy marks foiTning a vein or else httle spirals. 
The former marking produces a longish pattern and 
is consequently called tiger-wood, while the latter 
gives a twisted pattern and consequently slabs of 
that sort are called panther-tables. Also some have 
wavy crinkled markings, which are more esteemed if 
they resemble the eyes in a peacock's tail. Besides 
the kinds previously mentioned, great esteem, 
though coming after these, belongs to those veined 
with a thick cluster of what look like grains, 
these slabs being consequently called parsley-wood, 
from the resemblance. But the highest value of all 
resides in the colour of the wood, the colour of meed 
being the most favoured, shining with the wine that 
is proper to it.« The next point is size : now-a- 
days tables made of whole trunks are admired, or 
several trunks morticed together in one table. 

The faults in a table are woodiness — that is the 
name given to a dull patternless uniformity in the 
timber, or uniformity arranged like the leaves of a 
plane-tree, and also to a grain resembhng the veining 
or colouring of the holm-oak — and to flaws or hairy 
hnes resembling flaws, a fault to which heat and wind 
have rendered the timber particularly liable ; next 
comes a colour running across the wood in a black 
streak hke a lamprey and marked with in-egular 
raven-scratchings as on a poppy and in general rather 
approaching black, or blotches of various colours. 
The natives bury the timber in the ground while still 
green, giving it a coat of wax ; but carpenters lay 
it in heaps of corn for periods of a week with 
intervals of a week between, and it is surprising 
how much its weight is reduced by this process. 

157 



PLINY; NATURAL HISTORY 

naufragia docuere nuper hanc quoque materiam 
siccatam mari duritie incorrupta cospissari non ullo 
modo vehementius. nutriuntur optume splende- 
scuntque manus siccae fricatu a baUneis maxime ; nec 
vinis laeduntur ut iis genitae. 

100 Inter pauca nitidioris vitae instrumenta haec arbor 
est, quapropter insistendum ei quoque paululum 
videtur. nota etiam Homero fuit; thyon Graece 
vocatur, ab aUis thya. hanc itaque inter odores 
uri tradidit in deUciis Circae, quam deam volebat 
inteUegi, magno errore eorum qui odoramenta in eo 
vocabulo accipiunt, cum praesertim eodem versu 
cedruni laricemque una tradat uri, quo manifestum 

101 est de arboribus tantum locutum. Theophrastus, 
qui proximus a Magni Alexandri aetate scripsit 
circa^ urbis Romae annum ccccxxxx, magnum iam 
huic arbori honorem tribuit, memoratas ex ea re- 
ferens templorum veterum contignationes quandam- 
que immortaUtatem materiae in tectis contra vitia 

102 omnia incorruptae ; radice nihil crispius, nec aUunde 
pretiosiora opera ; praecipuam autem esse eam arbo- 
rem circa Hammonis delubrum, nasci et in interiore 
Cyrenaicae parte. de mensis tamen tacuit, et aUas 

^ Backham : haec circa. 

" Od. V. 60. * Hiet. Plant. V. 3, 7. 

158 



BOOK XIII. XXX. 99 102 

Also wreckage frora sliips has recently shown that 
this timber is dricd by the action of sea water, and 
sohdifled with a hardness that resists decay, no 
other method producing this result more powerfuUy. 
Citrus-wood tables are best kept and pohshed by 
rubbing with the dry hand, especially just after a 
bath ; and they are not damaged by spilt wine, 
as having been created for the pui-pose of wine- 
tables. 

Few things that supply the apparatus of a more ThecUrus- 
luxurious hfe rank with this tree, and consequently "^^^' 
it seems desirable to dwell on it for a httle as 
well. It was known even to Homer — the Greek 
name for it being thyon, otherwise thya. Well, 
Homer ^ has recorded its being burnt among unguents 
as one of the luxuries of Circc, whom he meant to be 
understood as a goddess — those who take the word 
thyon to mean perfumes being greatly in error, 
especially as in the same verse he says that cedar 
and larch were burnt at the same time, which 
shows that he was only speaking of trees. Ah-eady 
Theophrastus,^ who wrote immediately after the 
period of Alexander the Great, about 314 b.c, 
assigns a high rank to this tree, stating that it 
was recorded that the flooring of the old temples 
used to be made of it and that its timber when used 
in roofed buildings is virtually everlasting, being 
proof against all causes of decay ; and he says that 
no wood is more marked with veins than the root, and 
that no products made of any other material are more 
valuable. The finest citrus, he says, is round the 
Temple of Hammon, but it also grows in the interior 
of Cyrenaica. He makes no mention, however, of 
tables made of citrus-wood, and indeed there is no 

159 



PI.INY : NATURAL HISTORY 

nuUius ante Ciceronianam vetustior memoria est, 
quo noviciae apparent. 

103 XXXI. Alia est arbor eodem nomine, malum ferens 
execratum aliquis odore et amaritudine, aUis expe- 
titum, domus etiam decorans, nec dicenda verbosius. 

104 XXXII. Eadem Africa,qua vergit ad noSjinsignem 
arborem loton gignit, quam vocat celthim, et ipsam 
Italiae familiarem sed terra mutatam. praecipua 
est circa Syrtes atque Nasamonas. magnitudo quae 
piro, quamquam Nepos Cornelius brevem tradit. 
incisurae folio crebriores, alioqui ilicis viderentur. 
differentiae plures, eaeque maxime fructibus fiunt. 

105 magnitudo huic fabae, color croci, sed ante maturi- 
tatem aUus atque aUus, sicut uvis. nascitur densus 
in ramis myrti modo, non ut in ItaUa cerasi,^ tam 
dulcis ibi cibo ut nomen etiam genti terraeque 
dederit nimis hospitaU advenarum obUvione patriae. 
feruiit ventris non sentire morbos qui eum mandant. 

106 melior sine interiore nucleo, qui de altero genere 
osseus videtur. vinum quoque exprimitur iUi simile 
mulso, quod ultra denos dies negat durare idem 
Nepos, bacasque concisas cum aUca ad cibos doUis 
condi. quin et exercitus pastos eo accipimus ultro 

^ Edd. : cerasis aut cerasus. 



" The Lotophagi, see V. 41. 



i6o 



BOOK XIII. XXX. io2-xx\ii. io6 

older record of one before that of the time of Cicero, 
which proves their novelty. 

XXXI. There is another tree with the same name, Thedtron. 
bearing fruit which some people abhor for its scent 

and bitter taste while other people are fond of it ; 
this wood is also used for decorating houses, but it 
does not need further description. 

XXXII. Africa also, where it faces in our direction, The African 
produces a remarkable tree, the lotus, called in the produdng 
vernacular celthis, which also has been naturahzed in /';"'' ^^ 
Italy, though it has been altered by the change of 

soil. The fmest lotus is found round the Syrtes and 

the district of the Nasamones. It is the size of a 

pear, ahhough Cornehus Nepos states that it is sl Fr.20Haim. 

short fruit. The incisions in the leaf resemble those 

in the holm-oak, except that they are more numerous. 

There are several varieties of lotus. differing chiefly 

in their fruits. This one is the size of a bean and 

saffron-coloured, but it changes colour several times 

before it is ripe, hke grapes. It grows in thick 

clusters on the branches Hke myrtle-berries and not 

hke cherries as it does in Italy ; in its own country 

it is so sweet to eat that it has even given its name to 

a race of people " and to a land which is too 

hospitable to strangers who come there, making them 

forget their native land. It is reported that chewing 

this lotus prevents gastric diseases. The better kind 

has no stone inside it, those of the other variety having 

a kernel of a bony appearance. Also a wine is 

pressed from this fruit that resembles mead, which 

again according to Nepos will not keep for more than 

ten days ; he states that the berries are chopped 

up with wheat and stored in casks for food. Indeed 

we are told that armies have been fed on this while 

i6i 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

citroque commeantcs per Africam. ligiio colos 
niger: ad tibiarum cantus expetitur; e radice cul- 
tellis capulos brevesque alios usus excogitant. 

107 Haec ibi natura arboris. est autem eodem nomine 
et herba et in Aegypto caulis in palustrium genere. 
recedentibus enim aquis Nili riguis provenit similis 
fcibae caule foliisque densa congerie stipatis, brevio- 
ribus tantum gracilioribusque. fructus in capite 
papaveri similis incisuris omnique alio modo, intus 

108 grana ceu milium. incolae capita in acervis putre- 
faciunt, mox separant lavando et siccata tundunt 
eoque pane utuntur. mirum est quod praeter haec 
traditur, sole occidente papavera ea conprimi et 
integi foliis, ad ortum autem aperiri, donec ma- 

109 turescant flosque qui est candidus decidat. hoc 
amplius in Euphrate tradunt et caput ipsum et 
florem vespera mergi usque in medias noctes, to- 
tumque abire in altum, ut ne demissa quidem manu 
possit inveniri, reverti deinde paulatimque subrigi, et 
ad exortus soHs emergere extra aquam ac florem 
patefacere, atque etiamnum insurgere, ut plane ab 

110 aqua absit alte. radicem lotos habet mah cotonei 
magnitudine, opertam nigro cortice, qualis et casta- 
neas tegit; interius candidum corpus, gratum cibis 

" The Egyptian water-lily. 
162 



BOOK XIII. xxMi. 106-110 

marching to and fro through Africa. The wood is 
of a black colour, and is in demand for making 
melodious flutes, wliile out of the root are devised 
knife-handles and other short implements. 

This is the nature of the lotus-tree in Africa. But Kimired 
the same name also belongs to a herbaceous plant, 
as well as to a colewort " in Egypt belonging to the 
class of marsh-plants. Ihis springs up when the 
flood waters of the Nile retire ; it resembles a bean 
in its stalk and in its leaves, which grow in large, 
thick clusters, although they are shorter and more 
slender than the leaves of a bean. The fruit grows 
on the head of the plant and resembles the fruit of 
the poppy in its indentations and in every other way ; 
it contains grains hke millet-seeds. The natives pile 
these heads in heaps to rot, and then separate the 
seeds by washing and dry them and crush them, and 
use them to make bread. There is a further remark- 
able fact reported, that when the sun sets these 
poppies shut up and fold their leaves round them, 
and at sunrise open again, this going on till they 
ripen and the flower, which is white, falls off. A 
further point reported is that in the Euphrates both 
the head itself and the flower at the evening go on 
submerging till midnight, and disappear entirely 
into the depth so that they cannot be found even 
by plunging the hand in, and then return and by 
degrees straighten up again, and at sunrise come 
out of the water and open their flower, and still 
go on rising so that the flower is raised up quite a 
long way above the water. The lotus has a root of 
the size of a quince, enclosed in a black skin Hke the 
shell of a chestnut ; inside it has a white body, agree- 
able to eat raw but still more agreeable when boiled 

163 



PLINY; NATURAL HISTORY 

crudiim sed gratius dccoctum sive aqua sive pruna. 
neque aliunde magis quam purgamentis eius sues 
crassescunt. 

111 XXXIII. Cyrenaica regio loton suae postponit pa- 
liuro. fruticosior haec fructuque magis rubens, cuius 
nucleus non simul mandatur,iucundusper se ac suavior 
e vino, quin et vina suco suo commendans. interior 
Africa ad Garamantas usque et deserta palmarum 
magnitudine et suavitate constat,^ nobilibus ^ maxime 

112 circa delubrum Hammonis; XXXIV. sed circa Cartha- 
ginem Punicum malum cognomine sibi vindicat : aliqui 
granatum appellant ; divisit et in genera apyrenum 
vocando cui lignosus nucleus abesset : candidior ei 
natura et blandiores acini minusque amaris distincti 
membranis ; aUas structura eorum quaedam ut in 

113 favis, communis nucleos habentium. horum quinque 
species : dulcia, acria, mixta, acida, vinosa ; Samia et 
Aegy}:)tia distinguntur erythrocomis et leucocomis. 
corticis maior usus ex acerbis ad perficienda coria. 
flos balaustium vocatur, et medicis idoneus et 
tinguendis vestibus, quarum color inde nomen accepit. 

114 XXXV. In Asia et Graecia nascuntur frutices: 
epicactis, quem aUi emboUnen vocant, parvis foUis 
quae pota contra venena prosunt sicut erices contra 

^ praestat Dalec. 

* nobilium ? Mayhoff. 



^ AiTvprjvov, ' without kernel.' 
Puniceus, 'purple.' 



164 



BOOK XIII. XXXII. iio-xxxv. 114 

in water or roasted in the ashes. Its peelings are 
more useful than any other fodder for fattening pigs. 

XXXIII. The region of thc Cyrenaica ranks the ChnsVs- 
lotus below its own Christ's-thorn. This is more iripj^l^ '"' 
the nature of a shrub, and its fruit is redder, and con- ^ranate. 
tains a kernel that is eaten by itself, as it is agreeable 
alone ; it is improved by being dipped in wine, and 
moreover its juice improves wine. The interior of 
Africa as far as the Garamantes and the desert is 
covered with pahiis remarkable for their size and 
their luscious fruit, the most celebrated being in the 
neighbourhood of the temple of Ammon, XXXIV. 
But the country in the neighbourhood of Carthage 
claims by the name of Punic apple what some call 
the pomegranate ; this it has also split up into classes, 
by giving the name of apyrenum ^ to the variety that 
lacks a woody kernel: the consistency of this is 
whiter than that of the others, and its pips have a 
more agreeable taste and the membranes enclosing 
them are not so bitter ; but in other respects these 
apples have a special structure resembling the cells 
in a honeycomb, which is common to all that have a 
kernel. Of these there are five kinds, the sweet, the 
sour, the mixed, the acid and the vinous ; those of 
Samos and of Egypt are divided into the red-Ieaved 
and the white-leaved varieties. The skin of the 
unripe fruit is specially used for dressing leather. 
The flower is called balaustium, and is serviceable for 
doctors and also for dyeing cloth ; it has given its 
name to a special colour.* 

XXXV. Shrubs growing in Asia and Greece are the other shmbs 
epicactis, which others call emboline, with small leaves " "^^^' 
which taken in drink are an antidote against poisons, 
as those of the heath are against snakes, and the 

165 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

serpentes ; et in^ quo nascitur granum Cnidium, quod 
aliqui linum vocant, fruticem vero thymelaean, alii 
chamelaean, alii pyros achnen, aliqui cnestorem, alii 
cneorum. est similis oleastro, folis angustioribus, 
cumminosis si mordeantur, myrti magnitudine ; 
semen colore et specie farris, ad medicinae tantum 
usum. 

115 XXXVI. Tragion fruticem sola Creta insula gignit, 
terebintho similem et semine, quod contra sagitta- 
rum ictus efficacissimum tradunt. eadem et traga- 
canthum spinae albae radice, multum praelatam apud 
Medos aut in Achaia nascenti; pretium eius in 
hbras X iii. 

116 XXXVII. Tragon et Asiafert sive scorpionem, ve- 
premsine foUis, ramis rubentibus, ad medicinae usum, 
myricen et Itaha,quam tamaricen vocat, Achaia autem 
bryan silvestrem ; insigne in ea quod sativa tantum 
fert gallae similem fructum. in Syria et Aegypto 
copiosa haec est, cuius infeUcia Ugna appeUamus. 

117quaedam2 tamen infeUciora sunt Graeciae ; gignit 
enim arborem ostryn, quam et ostryam vocant, 
soUtariam circa saxa aquosa, similem fraxino cortice 
et ramis, foUo piris, paulo tamen longioribus crassiori- 
busque ac rugosis incisuris quae per tota discurrunt, 
semine hordeo simiU et colore. materies est dura 
atque firma, qua in domum inlata difficiles partus fieri 

1 et <is) in? Mayhoff. 

2 lan (qua Sillig) : quae. 

" Astragalus tragacanthas. 
i66 



BOOK XIII. XXXV. 114-XXXVI1. 117 

shrub that produccs the grain of Cnidus, which some 
call flax, the name of the shrub itself being thymelaea, 
which others call chamelaea, others pyros achne, some 
cnestor, others cneorum. It resembles the oleaster, 
but has narrower leaves, which when chewed have a 
gummy consistency; it is the size of a myrtle, and 
has a seed of the colour and shape of emmer, which is 
only used for medicinal purposes. 

XXXVI. The goat-shrub only grows in the island of 
Crete ; it resembles the terebinth in seed as well as in 
other respects ; the seed is reported to be very effica- 
cious against arrow wounds. The same island also pro- 
duces a goat-thorn," which has the root of the v.hite 
thorn, and is much preferred to the goat-thorn grow- 
ing in the country of the Medes or in Achaia ; its 
price is 3 denarii per pound. 

XXXVII. Asia also produces the goat-plant or scor- 
pio, a thorn without leaves and with reddish branches, 
used for medicinal purposes : Italy also has the mjTica, 
which is there called the tamarisk, and Achaia the 
wild brya ; a remarkable property of the brya is 
that only the cultivated kind bears fruit ; this re- 
sembles a gall-nut. In Syria and Egypt this shrub is 
abundant, and we give the name of ' unlucky wood ' 
to its timber ; yet some of the timbers of Greece are 
unluckier, for Greece grows a tree named the ostrys, 
another form of the name being ostrya, which grows 
by itself round rocks washed by water ; it is Hke an 
ash in its bark and branches, and a pear in its leaf, 
though the leaves are a httle longer and thicker and 
wrinkled with indentations running all across them ; 
the seed resembles barley in colour as well as shape. 
The wood is hard and sohd, and it is said that if it is 
brought into a house it causes difficulty in child-birth 

167 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

118 produnt mortesque miseras. XXXVIII. Nec auspica- 
tior in Lesbo insula arbor quae vocatur euonymos, non 
absimilis Punicae arbori — inter eam et laurum folia ^ 
magnitudine, figura vero et mollitia Punicae, — floris^ 
candidi odore ^ statim pestem denuntians. fert sili- 
quas sesames ; intus granum quadriangula figura, 
spissum, letale animalibus, nec non et folio eadem 
vis. succurrit aliquando praeceps alvi exinanitio. 

119 XXXIX. Alexander Cornelius arborem leonem ap- 
pellavit ex qua facta esset Argo, similem robori viscimi 
ferentem,^ quae neque aqua neque igni posset cor- 
rumpi, sicuti nec viscum, nulli alii cognitam, quod 
equidem sciam. 

120 XL. Andrachlen omnes fere Graecis ^ porcillacae 
nomine interpretantur, cum sit herba et andrachne 
vocetur unius Htterae diversitate : cetero andrachle 
est sih-estris arbor, neque in planis nascens, simiUs 
unedoni, foho tantum minore et nmiiquam de- 
cidente, cortice non scabro quidem sed qui circumge- 
latus videri possit, tam tristis aspectus est. 

XLI. SimiHs et coccygia foho, magnitudine minor. 

121 proprietatem habet fructum amiciendi ^ lanugine — 
pappum vocant — quod nulh ahi arbori evenit. 
simihs et apharce, bifera aeque quam andrachle ; 

1 VJ. folii. 2 Yi flore. 

^ Mueller : candidiore. 

* ferentem ? Mueller : ferenti aut ferens. 

^ V.U. Graeci, Graece. Graeciae. 

® Harrison : amittendi. 

° ' Lucky-name,' a euphemism for an unlucky tree, like 
' Euxine ' (' hospitable ') for the speciaUy dangerous Black Sea. 

* Pliny seems to have misunderstood the word (j)6vos which 
he found in Theophrastus, where it really denoted the 
blood-red colour of the juice. 

<^ Perhaps the Phyllirea anaustifolia of Linnaeus. 
l68 



BOOK XIII. xA.wii. 117-XL1. 121 

and painful deaths. XXXVIII. Equally unlucky is 
the tree on the island of Lesbos called the euonymus," 
which is not unhke the pomegranate tree — its leaves 
are between pomegranate and bay-leaves in size, but 
have the shape and soft texture of the leaf of the 
pomegranate — and which by the scent of its white 
blossom gives prompt warning of its pestilential 
quahties.^ It bears a pod Hke that of the sesame, 
with a coarse square-shaped grain inside it which is 
deadly for animals ; and the leaf also has the same 
property, although sometimes an immediate evacua- 
tion of the bowels gives rehef. 

XXXIX. Alexander CorneHus mentions a tree called 
the Uon-tree, the timber of which he says was used 
to build the Argo, which bears mistletoe resembhng 
that on the oak, and which cannot be rotted by water 
or destroyed by fire, the same being the case with its 
mistletoe. This tree is, so far as I am aware, unknown 
to anyone else. 

XL. ' Andrachle ' is almost always rendered into 
Latin for the Greeks by the word ' purslain,' 
although purslain is a herbaceous plant and its 
Greek name is one letter different, andrachne : for 
the rest the andrachle is a forest tree, nor does it 
grow in level country. It resembles the arbutus, 
only it has a smaller leaf and is an evergreen ; the 
bark, though not rough, might be supposed to have 
frozen round the tree, it has such a wretched 
appearance. 

XLI. The sumach has a similar leaf, but is smaHer 
in size. It has the pecuHarity of clothing its fruit 
(which is caHed pappus) with downy fluff, a thing 
that occurs with no other tree. The apharce<^ also 
resembles the andrachle, and Hke it bears twice a 

169 



PLINY: NATURAL HLSTORY 

priorem friictum incipiente pubescere uva peragunt, 
alterum initio hiemis, quales eos non traditur. 

122 XLIL Et ferulam inter externas dixisse conveniat 
arborumque gcneri adscripsisse, quoniam quarundam 
naturae, sicuti distinguemus, ligniun omne corticis 
loco habent forinsecus, ligni autem loco fungosam 
intus rnedullam ut sabuci, quaedam vero inanitatem 

123 ut harundines. ferula calidis nascitur locis atque 
trans maria, geniculatis nodata scapis. duo eius 
genera : nartheca Graeci vocant adsurgentem in 
altitudinem, nartheciam vero semper humilem. a 
genibus exeunt foha maxima ut quaeque terrae 
proxima ; cetera natura eadem quae aneto, et fructu 
simili. nulU fruticum levitas maior; ob id gestatu 
facilis baculorum usum senectuti praebet. 

124 XLIIL Semen ferulae thapsian quidam vocavere, 
decepti ei, quoniam ferula sine dubio est thapsia, sed^ 
sui generis, foHs feniculi, inani caule nec excedente 
bacuh longitudinem ; semen quale ferulae, radix 
candida. incisa lacte manat et contusa suco ; nec 
corticem abdicant. omnia ea venena ; quippe etiam 
fodientibus nocet si minima aspiret aura : intume- 

^ V.l. om. sed. 



" Ferula communis. 

^ Pliny ignores the scholastic use of this shrub (it is not 
really a tree) attested bj- Horace, Juvenal and Martial; in 
this connexion the name ferulu survived in English grammar 
schools and coUeges as long as Latin remained their official 
language. 

" Viz. Thapsia garganica. 

<* According to Dioscorides it was valued as a purge. 

170 



BOOK XIII. xLi. I2I-XLIII. 124 

year; they produce a first crop of fruit just at the 
time when the grapes are beginning to ripen, and a 
second at the beginning of winter. What sort of fruit 
is produced on these two occasions is not reported. 

XLII. It may be suitable to have the fennel giant Thefenda 
mentioned among the exotics and assigned to the l^i^^^^ 
genus ' tree,* inasmuch as the structure of some 
plants, in the classification that we shall adopt, has 
the whole of the wood outside in place of bark and 
inside, in place of wood, a fungous pith Uke that of 
the elder, though some have an empty hollow inside 
Hke reeds. This fennel grows in hot countries over 
sea; its stalk is divided by knotted joints. It has 
two varieties," one called in Greek narthex, which 
rises to some height, the other narthecia, which 
always grows low. From the joints shoot out very 
large leaves, the larger the nearer to the ground ; 
but in other respects it has the same nature as the 
dill, and the fruit is similar. No shrub suppHes a 
wood of Hghter weight, and consequently it is easy 
to carry, and suppHes walking-sticks to be used by 
old gentlemen.* 

XLIII. Theseedof thefennel giant has been called 
by some thapsia, but these people are mistaken, since 
the thapsia,'^ though no doubt it is a giant fennel, is 
one of a pecuHar kind, having the leaves of a fennel 
and a hollow stalk not exceeding the length of a 
walking-stick ; the seed is Hke that of the giant 
fennel, but the root is white. When an incision is 
made in the thapsia milk oozes out, and when pounded 
it emits a sweet juice; even the bark is not thrown 
away.^ AH these parts of the tree are poisons ; 
in fact it is injurious even to those engaged in digging 
it up if the sHghtest current of air blows from the 

171 



PLINY; NATURAL HISTORY 

sciint corpora faciemque invadunt ignes sacri ; ob 

125 id cerato prius inlinunt. quibusdam tamen morbis 
auxiliari dicunt medici permixtam aliis, item alopeciis 
suggillatisque ac liventibus,ceu vero remedia desint, 
ut scelera nova^ tractent. sed ista praetexunt noxio 
instrumento, tantumque inpudentiae est ut venenum 
artis esse persuadeant. 

Thapsia in Africa vehementissima. quidam cau- 
lem incidunt per messes et in ipsa excavant radice quo 

126 sucusconfluat,arefactumquetollunt; aliifolia,caulem, 
radicem tundunt in pila et sucum in sole coactum 
dividunt in pastillos. Nero Caesar claritatem ei 
dedit initio imperii, nocturnis grassationibus conver- 
berata facie inlinens id cum ture ceraque, et secuto 
die contra famam cutem sinceram circumferens. 
ignem ferulis optime servari certum est easque in 
Aegypto praecellere. 

127 XLIV. Ubi et cappari, firmioris ligni frutex, 
seminisque et cibis vulgati, caule quoque una ple- 
rumque decerpto. cavenda eius genera peregrina, 
siquidem Arabium pestilens, Africum gingivis ini- 

' nova ? MayhofJ : non. 
172 



BOOK XIII. xLiii. 124-XLIV, 127 

shrub in their direction : their bodies swell up, and 
their face is attacked by erysipelas — for which reason 
before beginning they grease it with a solution 
of wax. The doctors however say that mixed with 
other ingredients the shrub is of use in treating 
certain diseases, and also for fox-rnange, bruises and 
spottiness — as if there really were any lack of 
remedies, forcing them to take in hand new enormi- 
ties! But they cloak their noisome expedient with 
excuses of that sort, and such is their impudence that 
they ask us to beHeve that poison is among the 
resources of science ! 

The thapsia of Africa is the most violent of all. 
Some people make an incision in the stalk during 
harvest-time and make a hollow in the root itself for 
the juice to collect in, and when it has dried take it 
away ; others pound the leaves and stalk and root in 
a mortar and after drying the juice hard in the sun 
cut it up into lozenges. The emperor Nero at the 
beginning of his reign gave this juice a famous ad- 
vertisement, as when during his nocturnal escapades 
his face had sustained a number of bruises he 
smeared it with a mixture of thapsia, IVankincense 
and wax and on the following day gave the he to 
rumour by going about with a whole skin. It is a 
well-known fact that fire can be best kept ahght 
in a fennel stalk, and that the fennels in Egypt are 
the best. 

XLIV. In Egypt also grows the caper-tree, a other shmbi 
shrub with a rather hard wood ; also its seed is well 
known as an article of food, and is usually gathered 
together with the stalk. Its foreign varieties should 
be avoidcd. inasmuch as the Arabian kind is poisonous 
and the African injures the gums, and that from 

173 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

niicum, Marmaricum volvis, et omnium ^ inflationi- 
bus Apulum vomitus facit, stomachum et alvum 
solvit. quidam id cynosbaton vocant, alii ophiosta- 
phylen. 

128 XLV. Frutectosi est generis et saripha circa Nilum 
nascens, duorum ferme cubitorum altitudine, polHcari 
crassitudine, coma papyri, similique manditur modo, 
radice ferrariis officinis praecipua carbonis usu 
propter duritiam. 

129 XLVL Non omittendum est et quod Babylone 
seritur in spinis, quoniam non aUubi vivit, sicut et 
viscum in arboribus, sed illud in spina tantum quae 
regia vocatur. mirum quod eodem die germinat 
quo iniectum est — inicitur autem ipso canis ortu — et 
celerrime arborem occupat. condiunt eo vina, et 
ideo serunt. spina illa nascitur et Athenis in longis 
muris. 

130 XLVIL Frutex est et cytisus ab Amphilocho 
Atheniense miris laudibus praedicatus pabulo omnium, 
aridus vero etiam suum, spondetque iugero eius annua 
HS. MM vel mediocri solo reditus. utiHtas quae ervo, 
sed ocior satias, perquam modico pinguescente 
quadripede, ita ut iumenta hordeum spernant. non 
ex aHo pabulo lactis maior copia aut meHor, super 
omnia pecudum medicina ea ^ vaHdas ^ a morbis 

^ V.l. omnibus. ^ ^a add. ? Mayhoff. 

^ Mayhojf : valida. 



" A district of Egj^pt. 

* A species of dodder, which is parasitic on other plants. 

*■ Speeies of Medicago, especially M . arborea. 



174 



COOK XIII. xLiv. 127-XLV11. 130 

Marmarica," is iMJiirioiis to the wonib. Also the 
Apuhaii caper-tree produces vomiting and diarrhoea 
by causing flatulence in all the organs. Some 
persons call this shrub ' dog-brier,' others * snake- 
vine.' 

XLV. The saripha growing on the banks of the 
Nile also belongs to the shrub class. It is about 3 ft. 
higli and the thickness of a man's thumb ; its foHage 
is that of the papyrus, and it is chewed in a similar § 72. 
manner. The root is highly rated in workshops for 
use as fuel, because of its hardness. 

XLVI. Also we must not leave out a plant * that at 
Babylon is grown on thorn-bushes, because it will not 
live anywhere else — ^just as mistletoe grows on trees, 
but the plant in question will only grow on what is 
called the ' royal thorn,' It is a remarkable fact 
that it buds on the same day as it has been planted — 
this is done just at the rising of the Dogstar — and it ?.- . 
very quickly takes possession of the whole of the 
tree. It is used in making spiced wine, and is 
cultivated for that purpose. This thorn also grows 
on the Long Walls at Athens. 

XL\TI. There is also a shrub called cytisus,'^ which The cytum. 
lias been remarkably praised by Amphilochus of 
Athens as a fodder for all kinds of cattle, and when 
dried for swine as well, and he guarantees a yearly 
return of 2,000 sesterces for an iugerum of it, even 
on only moderate soil. It serves the same purpose 
as vetch, but produces satiety more quickly, an 
animal being fattened by quite a moderate amount — 
so much so that beasts of burden fed on it refuse 
barley. No other fodder produces a larger quantity 
or a better quality of milk, and above everything as 
a medicine for cattle it renders them immune from 

175 



PLINY; NATURAL HISTORY 

131 omnibus praestante. quin et nutricibus in defectu 
lactis aridum atque in aqua decoctum potui cum 
vino dari iubet, firmiores celsioresque infantes 
fore ; viridem etiam gallinis, aut si inaruerit, made- 
factum. apes quoque numquam defore cytisi pabulo 
contingente promittunt Democritus atque Aristo- 

132 machus. nec aliud minoris impendi est. seritur cum 
hordeum aut vere semine ut porrum, vel caule 
autumno ante brumam, si semine, madidum aut, si 
desint imbres, satum aqua ^ spargitur. plantae 
cubitales transferuntur scrobe pedaU. seritur per 
aequinoctia tenero frutice, perficitur triennio, de- 
metitur verno aequinoctio, cum florere desiit, vel 

133 pueri anusve vilissima opera. canus aspectu, bre- 
viterque si quis exprimere similitudinem velit, 
angustioris trifoU frutex. datur animaUbus post 
biduum semper, hieme vero quod inaruit madidum. 
satiant equos denae Ubrae et ad portionem minora 
animaUa. obiterque inter ordines aUum ac ^ cepas 
seri fertile est. 

134 Inventus est hic frutex in Cythno insula, inde 
tralatus in omnes Cycladas, mox in urbes Graeces, 
magno casei proventu. praeterea, quo maxime 
miror rarum esse in ItaUa, non aestuum, non frigorum, 

^ aqua add. ? Mayhojf. 
2 ac add. Warmington. 

176 



BOOK XIII. xLvii. 130-134 

all diseases. He also recommends a potion made of 
cytisus dried and boiled in water to be given with 
wine to nursing women when their milk fails, and 
he says this will make the infants stronger and 
taller ; also he advises giving it while in the green 
state to fowls, or if it has dried, after being steeped. 
Moreover, Democritus and Aristomachus promise 
that bees will never fail if there is cytisus available 
for them to feed on. No other fodder is less expen- 
sive. It is sown when barley is, or in the spring, 
like leek, if the seed is used ; or else the stalk is 
planted in autumn before the winter solstice. If 
sown the seed is soaked, or, if there is a shortage of 
rain, it is watered after sowing. When the plants 
are 18 inches high they are replanted in a trench a 
foot deep. This planting is done through the 
equinoxes, while the shrub is still tender ; it takes 
three years to mature, and it is cut at the spring 
equinox, when it has done flowering — a job that 
can be done very cheaply even by a boy or an old 
woman. It is of a whitish colour to look at, and 
its appearance may be briefly described by saying 
that it looks hke a trifohated plant with a rather 
narrow leaf. It is always fed to stock only once in 
two days, but in winter as it has got dry it is moistened 
first ; ten pounds make a sufficient feed for a horse, 
and for smaller animals in proportion. Incidentally, 
good results are got by sowing garhc and onions 
as catch-crops between the rows of cytisus. 

The cytisus shrub was discovered in the island of 
Cythnus, and from there was transplanted to all the 
Cyclades and later to the Greek cities, greatly increas- 
ing the supply of cheese. Moreover — a fact that 
makes me very much surprised that it is rare in Italy — 

177 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

non grandinuni aut nivis iniuriam expavescit ; adicit 
Hyginus, ne cossium ^ quidem, propter nullam 
gratiam ligni. 

135 XLVm. Nascuntur etiam in mari fruticcs arbores- 
que, minores in nostro, Rubrum enim et totus orientis 
oceanus refertus est silvis. non habet lingua Latia ^ 
nomen quod Gracci vocant phycos, quoniam alga 
herbarum maris vocabulum intellegitur, hic autem 
est frutex. foUo lato, colore viridi, gignit quod 

136 quidam prason vocant, aUi zostera. alterum genus 
eiusdem capillacio foHo, simile feniculo, in saxis 
nascitur, superius in vadis haut procul Htore, utrimi- 
que verno, et interit autumno. circa Cretam insulam 
nato in petris purpuras quoque inficiunt, lauda- 
tissimo a parte aquilonis ut spongeis. tertium est 
gramini simile, radice geniculata et caule quahter 
calami. 

137 XLIX. Aliud genus fruticum bryon vocatur, foHo 
lactucae, rugosiore tantum, iam hoc inferius** nascens, 
in alto vero abies et quercus cubitaH altitudine ; ramis 
earum adhaerent conchae. quercu et tingui lanas 
tradunt, glandem etiam quasdam ferre in alto nau- 

138 fragis haec deprehensa urinantibusque. et ahae 
traduntur praegrandes circa Sicyonem, vitis enim 

1 Mayhoff {cf. xvii 220) : ne hostium. 
' Mayhoff : aHa. 
^ Urlichs : interius. 



" Mangroves. * Seaweed. 

" Sea-laver. 



178 



BOOK XIII. .\Lvii. 134 xLix. 138 

it is not afraid of damagc from heat and cold and 
hail and snow, and, as Hyginus adds, not even from 
wood-grubs, as its wood has no attraction for them. 

XLVIII. Shrubs and trees also grow at the bottom of Suhmarine 
the sea — those in the Mediterranean being of smaller '^^^^'"'"^' 
size, for the Red Sea and the whole of the Eastern 
Ocean are filled with forests." The Latin language has 
no name for what the Greeks call phycos,'' as our word 
alga denotes a herbaceous sea-plant, whereas the 
phycos is a shrub. It has a broad leaf and is coloured 
green ; and it produces a growth one of the Greek 
names for which means ' leek-weed ' and the other 
* bind-weed.' Another variety of the same shrub 
has a hair-like leaf resembling fennel, and grows on 
rocks, while the one above grows in shallow water 
near the coast ; both kinds shoot in spring-time and 
die off in autumn. The phycos growing on rocks 
round the island of Crete is also used for a purple 
dye ; the most approved kind being that growing on 
the northern side of the island, as is the case in 
regard to sponges. A third variety resembles a 
grass ; its root is knotted, and so is its stalk, like the 
stalk of a reed. 

XLIX. Anothcr group of shrubs is called bryon,<^ 
which has the leaf of a lettuce only more wrinkled. 
This grows lower down than the one last mentioncd ; 
but in deep watcr grow a fir and an oak, each 18 
inches high ; they have shells clinging to their 
branches. The oak is reported to provide a dye for 
woollen fabrics, and some in deep water are actually 
said to bear acorns, these facts having been ascer- 
tained by shipwrecked persons and by divers. AIso 
other very large marine trees are reported in the 
neighbourhood of Sicyon — for the sea-vine grows 

179 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

passim nascitur, sed ficus sine foliis, rubro cortice ; 
fit et palma fruticum generis. extra Herculis 
columnas porri fronde nascitur frutex et alius lauri ac 
thymi, qui ambo eiecti in pumicem transfigurantur. 

139 L. At in oriente mirum est statim a Copto per 
solitudines nihil gigni praeter spinam quae sitiens 
vocatur, et hanc raram admodum, in mari vero 
Rubro silvas virere lauru maxime et oliva ferentibus 
bacas et, cum pluat, fungos, qui sole tacti mutantur in 
pumicem. fruticum ipsorum magnitudo temum 
cubitorum est. caniculis referta maria,^ vix ut 
prospicere e nave tutum sit remos plerumque ipsos 
invadentibus. 

140 LI. Qui navigavere ex Indis ^ Alexandri milites, 
frondem marinarum arborum tradidere in aqua viridem 
fuisse, exemptam sole protinus in salem arescentem, 
iuncos quoque lapideos perquam similes veris per 
litora, et in alto quasdam arbusculas colore bubuli 
cornus ramosas et cacuminibus rubentes, cum trac- 
tarentur vitri modo fragiles, in igni autem ut ferrmn 

141 inardescentes, restinctis colore suo redeunte. eodem 
tractu insularum silvas operit aestus, quamquam 
altiores platanis populisque altissimis. folia iis laurea, 

1 maria add. Pintianus. 

- ex Indis Warmington : ex Indo MayhofJ: in Indos. 

l8o 



BOOK XIII. xLix. 138-L1. 141 

everywhere, but there is a sea-fig, which has no 
leaves and a red bark, and also the class of marine 
shrubs includes a sea-palm. Outside the Straits of 
Gibraltar grows a marine shrub with the leaf of a 
leek, and another with the foliage of a bay-tree and 
of thyme ; both of these when thrown up ashore by 
the waves turn into pumice. 

L. But in the East it is a remarkable fact that as Eastern 
soon as we leave Keft, passing through the desert ^veg^im. 
we find nothing growing except the thorn called ' dry- 
thorn,' and this quite seldom ; w^iereas in the Red 
Sca there are flourishing forests, mostly of bay and 
ohve, both bearing berries and in the rainy season 
funguses, which when the sun strikes them change 
into pumice. The bushcs themselves grow to the 
height of a yard and a half. The seas are full of 
sea-dogs, so much so that it is scarcely safe for a 
sailor to keep a look-out from the bows — in fact they 
frequently go for the actual oars. 

LI. The soldiers of Alexander who sailed from 
India gave an account of some marine trees the foliage 
of which was green while in the water but dried up in 
the sun as soon as it w^as taken out and turned into 
salt ; they also reported that along the coasts there 
were bulrushes of stone w hich exactly resembled real 
ones, and out in deep water certain shrubs of the 
colour of cow-horn where they branched out and 
turning red at the top ; they were brittle, like glass 
when handled, but turned red-hot in fire like iron, 
their proper colour coming back again when they had 
cooled oflf. In the samc part of the earth also the rising 
tide submerges forests, although the trees are higher 
than the loftiest planes and poplars. Their fohage is 
that of the bay-tree, and their l)lossom has the scent 

181 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

flos violae et odore et colore, bacae ut oleis, et 
ipsae odoris iucundi, autumno nascentes, vere 
decidentes, foliis numquam deciduis. harum minores 
totas integit mare ; maximarum cacumina extant, 
ad quae naves religantur, et cum recessit aestus, ad 
radices. alias quoque arbores in alto ab isdem 
accepimus eodem in mari visas, semper folia retinentis, 
fructu earum lupino simili. 
142 luba tradit circa Trogodytarum insulas fruticem in 
alto vocari Isidis crinem, curalio similem sine foliis, 
praecisum mutato colore in nigrum durescere, cum 
cadat frangi ; itcm alium qui vocatur Chariton 
blepharon, efficacem in amatoriis ; spatalia ex eo 
facere et monilia feminas ; sentire eum se capi 
durarique cornus modo et hebetare aciem ferri ; 
quod si fefellerint insidiae in lapidem transfigurari. 



t82 



BOOK XIII. Li. 141-142 

and colour of violets ; the bcrries resemble olives, and 
these also have an agrecable scent ; they form in the 
autmiin and fall off in spring, whereas the lcaves are 
never shed. The smaller of these trecs are entirely 
covered by the tidc, but the tops of the largcst stand 
out and ships are moorcd to thcm, as wcU as to their 
roots whcn the tidc goes out. We have been in- 
formed from the same sources that other trees also 
have becn obscrvcd in the same sea which always 
kcep their leaves and have a fruit resembhng a lupine. 
Juba rclatcs that in the neighbourhood of the 
Cave-dwellcrs' Islands a bush grows at the bottom 
of the sea called ' hair of Isis,' which has no lcaves 
and resembles coral, and that whcn it is lopped it 
changes its colour to black and turns hard, and when 
it falls it breaks ; and so docs another marine bush 
the Greek name for which means * the Graces' 
cycUd,' which is a potcnt love-charm ; he says 
womcn make bracclets and necklaces of it. He 
declares that when being takcn thc bush is aware of 
it and turns as hard as horn, blunting the cdge of the 
knife, but that if it is cut before it is awarc of the 
dangcr that threatens it, it turns into stone. 



183 



BOOK XIV 



VOL. IV. 



LIBER XIV 

I. ExTERNAE arbores indocilesque nasci alibi quam 
ubi coepere et quae in alienas non commeent ^ terras, 
hactenus fere ^ sunt ; licetque iam de communibus 
loqui, quarum omnium peculiaris parens videri potest 
Italia. noscentes tantum meminerint naturas earum 
a nobis interim dici, non culturas, quamquam et 

2 colendi maxima in natura portio est. illud satis 
mirari non queo, interisse quarundam memoriam 
atque etiam nominum quae auctores prodidere 
notitiam. quis enim non communicato orbe ter- 
rarum maiestate Romani imperii profecisse vitam 
putet commercio rerum ac societate festae pacis, 
omniaque etiam quae ante occulta fuerant in pro- 

3 miscuo usu facta ? at, Hercules, non reperiuntur 
qui norint multa ab antiquis prodita: tanto prisco- 
rum cura fertilior aut industria felicior fuit, ante 
milia annorum inter principia litterarum Hesiodo 
praecepta agricolis pandere orso subsecutisque non 

^ commeent ? Mayhoff : eommcant. 
* fere (narratae) Dalec. 

l86 



BOOK XIV 

I. So far \ve havc been dealing mostly with foreign wideiydif- 
trees that cannot be trained to grow elsewhere than {]^^in(UuTai 
in their place of origin and that refuse to be natural- hi&u/ry. 
ized in strange countries. We may now speak of those 
common to various countries, of all of which Italy can 
be thought to be the special parent. Only it must be 
remembered by the student that for the present we 
are specifying their natures and not their modes of 
cultivation, although actually a very large factor in 
the nature of a tree is due to its cultivation. There 
is one thing at which I cannot sufficiently wonder — 
that of some trees the very memory has perished, 
and even the names recorded by authors have passed Some tww 
out of knowledge. For who would not admit that *^""^'" 
now that intercommunication has been estabhshed 
throughout the world by the majesty of the Roman 
Empire, hfe has been advanced by the inter- 
change of commodities and by partnership in the 
blessings of peace, and that even things that had 
previously lain concealed have all now been estabUshed 
in general use ? Still, it must be asserted, we do not 
find people acquainted with much that has been 
handed down by the \\Titers of former days : so much 
more productive was the research of the men of old, 
or else so much more successful was their industry, 
when a thousand years ago at the dawn of hterature 
Hesiod began putting forth rules for agriculture, and 

187 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

paucis hanc curam eius ; uiide nobis crevit labor, 
quippe cum requirenda iam sint ^ non solum postea 
inventa, verum etiam ea quae invenerant prisci, 

4 desidia rerum internicione memoriae indicta. cuius 
vitii causas quis alias quam publicas mundi invenerit ? 
nimirum alii subiere ritus circaque alia mentes 
hominimi detinentur et avaritiae tantum artes 
coluntur. antea inclusis gentium imperiis intra 
ipsas, ideoque ^ et ingeniis, quadam sterilitate for- 
tunae necesse erat animi bona exercere, regesque 
innumeri honore artium colebantur et in ostentatione 
has praeferebant opes, immortaUtatem sibi per illas 
prorogari arbitrantes ; quare abundabant et praemia 

5 et opera vitae. posteris laxitas mundi et rerum 
amplitudo damno fuit. postquam senator censu legi 
coeptus, iudex fieri censu, magistratum ducemque 
nihil exornare quam census, postquam coepere 
orbitas in auctoritate summa et potentia esse, 
captatio in quaestu fertiUssimo, ac sola gaudia in 
possidendo, pessum iere vitae pretia, omnesque a 
maximo bono Uberales dictae artes in contrarium 

^ iam sint ? Mayhoff : ea siut aul siut. 
' i • I.* ^'^' adeoque. 
j88 "" ^ 



BOOK XIV. I. 3-5 

not a few writers folluwed hiin in tiicse rescarches — 
which has been a source of more toil to us,inasmuch 
as nowadays it is necessary to investigate not only 
subsequent discoverics but also those that had al- 
ready been made by the men of old,because general 
slackness has decreed an utter destruction of records. 
And for this fault who can discover other causes than Gwwth of 
the general movement of affairs in the world ? The fact di^p/"'' 
is that other customs have come into vogue, and the sdence. 
minds of men are occupied about other matters : the 
only arts cultivated are the arts of avarice. Previously 
a nation's sovereignty was self-contained, and con- 
sequently the people's genius was also circumscribed ; 
and so a certain barrenness of fortune made it a 
necessity to exercise the gifts of the mind, and kings 
innumerable received the homage of the arts, and 
put these riches in the front place when displaying 
their resources, believing that by the arts they 
could prolong their immortality. This was the 
reason why the rewards of life and also its achieve- 
ments were then so abundant. But later generations 
have been positively handicapped by the expansion 
of the world and by our multiplicity of resources. 
After senators began to be selected and judges 
appointed on the score of wealth, and w^ealth be- 
came the sole adornment of magistrate and military 
commander, after lack of children to succeed one 
began to occupy the place of highest influence and 
power, and legacy-hunting ranked as the most 
profitable profession, and the only delights con- 
sisted in ownership, the true prizes of life went to 
ruin, and all the arts that derived their name 
' liberal ' from liberty, the supreme good, fell into 
the opposite class, and servility began to be the 

189 



PLINY : NATURAI. HISTORY 

6 cecidere, ac servitute sola profici ^ coeptum. hanc 
alius alio modo et in aliis adorare, eodem tamen 
habendique ad spes omnium tendente voto ; passim 
vero etiam egregii aliena vitia quam bona sua co- 
lere malle. ergo, Hercules, voluptas vivere coepit, 

7 vita ipsa desiit. sed nos oblitterata quoque scruta- 
bimur, nec deterrebit quarundam rerum humilitas, 
sicuti nec in animalibus fecit, quamquam videmus 
Vergilium praecellentissimum vatem ea de causa 
hortorum dotes fugisse et in his quas ^ rettulit flores 
modo rerum decerpsisse, beatiun felicemque gratiae, 
quindecim omnino generibus uvarum nominatis, 
tribus oleae, totidem pirorum, malo vero tantum 
Assyrio, ceteris omnibus neglectis. 

8 II. Unde autem potius incipiamus quam a vitibus ? 
quarum principatus in tantum peculiaris Italiae est 
ut vel hoc uno omnia gentium vicisse etiam odorifera 
possit videri bona, quoniam ^ ubicumque pube- 
scentium odori nuUa suavitas praefertur. 

9 Vites iure apud priscos magnitudine quoque 
inter arbores numerabantur. lovis simulacrum in 
urbe Populonio ex una conspicimus tot aevis incor- 
ruptum, item Massiliae pateram ; Metaponti tem- 

* perfici Hardouin. 
^ Rackham : quae. 
^ Fels : quainquam. 



* So called from its trade-route. 
190 



BOOK XIV. I. 5-II. 9 

sole means of advancement. This deity was wor- 
shippcd by different men in different manners and in 
different matters, although every man's prayer was 
directed to the same end and to hopes of possessing ; 
indeed even men of high character everywhere 
preferred to cultivate the vices of others rather 
than the good gifts that were their own. The 
consequence is, 1 protest, that pleasure has begun to 
Uve and \ife itself has ceased. \Ve, however, will 
carry our researches even into matters that have 
passed out of notice, and will not be daunted by the 
lowliness of certain objects, any more than we were 
when deahng with the animals, although we see that 
Virgil, the prince of poets, was led by this consideration oeorgics iv. 
to make omissions among the resources of the garden ^^^' 
and in those which he has recorded has only culled 
out the flower of his subject, happy and gracious as he 
is : he has only named fifteen kinds of grapes in all 
and three of olives and as many pears, and of apples 
only the Assyrian<* citron, neglecting all the rest. 

II. But where can we better make a beginning 
than with the vine ? Supremacy in respect of the 
vine is to such a degree the special distinction of Italy 
that even with this one possession she can be thought 
to have vanquished all the good things of the world, 
even in the department of scents, inasmuch as when 
the vine is in blossom all over the country it gives a 
scent that surpasses any other in fragrance. 

Even on account of its size the vine used in early 
days rightly to be reckoned as belonging to the class of 
trees. In the city of Piombino is to be seen a statue 
of Jupiter made of a single vine-stalk that has resisted 
decay for many ages ; and similarly a bowl at Mar- 
seilles ; the temple of Juno at Metapontum has stood 

19T 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

plum lunonis vitigineis columnis stetit ; etiam nunc 
scalis tectum Ephesiae Dianae scanditur una e vite 
Cypria, ut ferunt, quoniam ibi ad praecipuam 
amplitudinem exeunt. nec est ligno ulli aeternior 
natura. 

Verum ista ex silvestribus facta crediderim. 

10 III. Hae vites tonsura annua coercentur, et vis 
earum omnis evocatur in palmites aut deprimitur in 
propagines, sucique tantum gratia ex iis petitur ^ 
pluribus modis ad caeli mores solique ingenia. in 
Campano agro populis nubunt, maritasque complexae 
atque per ramos earum procacibus bracchiis genicu- 
lato cursu scandentes cacumina aequant, in tantmn 
subUmes ut vindemiator auctoratus rogum ac tumu- 

11 lum excipiat, nulla fine crescendi; vidique ^ etiam 
totas ^ villas et domos ambiri singularum palmitibus 
ac sequacibus loris. quodque memoria dignum inter 
prima Valerianus quoque CorneUus existimavit, una 
vitis Romae in Liviae porticibus subdiales inambu- 
lationes umbrosis perguUs opacat, eadem duodenis 
musti amphoris fecunda. 

12 Ulmos quidem ubique exuperant, miratmnque 
altitudinem earum Ariciae ferunt legatum regis 
Pyrrhi Cineam facete lusisse in austeriorem gustum 
vini, merito matrem eius pendere in tam alta 

* Mayhoff : exisse intus aut ex his est. 
^ Mayhoff : crescent dividlque. 



totas Mayhoff : potius (porticua Detlefsen). 



192 



BOOK XIV. II. 9-III. 12 

siipported by pillars of vine-wood ; and even at the 
prescnt day we ascend to the roof of the temple of 
Diana at Kphesus by a staircase made from a single 
vine, grown it is said at Cyprus, inasmuch as vines 
grow to an exceptional height in that island. And 
no other timber lasts for longer ages. 

But I am inclined to beUeve that the things men- CuiUvation 
tioned were made of the wood of the wild vine. III. J-^, 7Zined 
Our own vines are kept down by yearly pruning, and ontreesor 
all their strength is drawn out into shoots, or else 
thrown downward into layers, and the only beneflt 
these supply is that of their juice, obtained by means 
of a variety of methods adapted to the pecuharities 
of the chmate and the quaUties of the soil. In 
Campania the vines espouse the poplars, and embrac- 
ing their brides and chmbing with wanton arms in a 
series of knots among their branches, rise level with 
their tops, soaring aloft to such a height that a hired 
vintager expressly stipulates in his contract for the 
cost of a funeral and a grave ! In fact they never stop 
growing ; and I have before now seen entire country 
houses and mansions encircled by the shoots and 
chnging tendrils of a single vine. And a thing that 
was considered in the first degree worthy of record 
also by Valerianus CorneUus is that a single vine in 
the colonnades of Livia at Rome protects the open 
walks with its shady treUises, while at the same time 
it produces 12 amphorae of juice yearly. 

Elms indeed are everywhere overtopped by vines, 
and there is a story that Cineas, the ambassador of 
King Pyrrhus, was surprised at the height to which 
the vines grew at La Riccia and made an amusing 
joke about the rather rough flavour of the wine, to 
the effect that the parent of it thoroughly deserved 

193 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

cruce. rumpotinus vocatur et alio nomine opulus arbor 
Italiae Padum transgressis, cuius tabulata in orbem 
patula replent puroque perductae dracone in palmam 
eius, inde in subrectos ramorum digitos flagella dis- 

13 pergunt. eaedem modici hominis altitudine admini- 
culatae sudibus horrent vineamque faciunt e talea ^ 
inprobo perticarum ^ reptatu pampinorumque per 
inania omnia ^ discursu atria media conplentes. tot 
differentias vel sola tantum Itaha recipit. 

Stat provinciarum aliquarum per se vitis sine uUo 
pedamento, artus * suos in se colligens et brevitate 

14 crassitudinem pascens. vetant hoc aliubi venti, ut 
in Africa et Narbonensis provinciae partibus, ubi 
excrescere ultra suos pollices prohibitae semperque 
pastinatis similes herbarum modo vagantur per arva 
ac sucum terrae passim uvis bibunt, quae ob id 
magnitudinem infantium puerorum in interiore parte 
Africae exsuperant. vina non alibi tristiora, sed 
uva non aUbi gratior caUo, unde possit invenisse 

15 nomen durus acinus. namque genera magnitudine, 
colore, saporibus acini innumera etiamnum multi- 
pHcantur vino : hic purpureo lucent colore, iUic 
fulgent roseo nitentque viridi; candicans enim 

^ Sillig : et alia. 

2 V.l. om. perticarum. 

^ Mayhoff : peritiam damna. 

* V.l. arcus. 

" Perhape a map]e. 
194 



BOOK XIV. III. 12-15 

being hung on such a lofty gibbet ! There is an Italian 
tree ° on the other side of the Po called the rumpot- 
inus, or by another name the opulus, the broad circular 
stories of which are covered by vines which spread out 
with their bare snaky growth to where the tree forks 
and then throw out their tendrils along the upraised 
fingers of the branches. Also vines when propped up 
with stakes about as tall as a man of middle height 
make a shaggy growth and form a whole vineyard 
from a cutting, by the unconscionable creeping of 
their rods and the rambUng of their tendrils over 
all the empty gaps, completely filhng the middle of a 
courtyard. So many are the different varieties that 
even Italy alone harbours. 

In some of the provinces the vine stands by itself Varietiesnf 
without any prop, gathering its hmbs together inward %^/lg"J^ 
and providing nutriment for thick growth by means 
of their shortness. In other places this is prohibited 
by the wind, for instance, in Africa and in parts of 
the province of Narbonne, where vines are prevented 
from growing beyond their pruned stumps and 
always resemble plants that are hoed, straying across 
the fields hke herbaceous plants and drinking up the 
juice of the soil with their grapes as they go ; and 
consequently in the interior of Africa the clusters ex- 
ceed the body of an infant child in size. In no other 
country are the vines harsher, but nowhere else have 
the grapes a more agreeable firmness, which is very 
possibly the source of the name ' hard grape.' As to 
varieties in respect of size, colour and flavours of the 
berry they are innumerable and they are actually 
multiphed by the varieties of wine : in one district 
they have a brilhant purple colour, in another a rosy 
glow or a glossy green tint; for grapes that are 

^95 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

nigerque vulgares. tument vero mammarum modo 
bumasti ; praelongis dactyli porriguntur acinis. est 
et illa naturae lascivia ut praegrandibus adhaereant 
parvi comites, suavitate certantes; leptorragas has 

16 vocant. durant aUae per hiemes, pensili conca- 
maratae nodo ; aliae in sua tantum continentur 
anima ollis fictilibus et insuper doHis inclusae, stipatae 
vinaceis circumsudantibus ; aUis gratiam, qui et 
vinis, fumus adfert, fabriUsque in ea re gloriam prae- 
cipuam^ fornacibus Africae Tiberii Caesaris aucto- 
ritas fecit ; ante eum Raeticis prior mensa erat uvis 

17 ex^ Veroniensium agro. quin et a patientia nomen 
acinis datur passis. conduntur et musto uvae, 
ipsaeque vino suo inebriantur, aliae decocto in 
musto dulcescunt ; aUae vero subolem novam in ipsa 
matre expectant trakicidae vitro, additque acinis 
eandem quam in doUis amphorisve duratricem iUam 

18 firmitatem austeritas picis infusa pediculo. iam 
inventa vitis per se in vino picem resipiens, Viennen- 
sem agrum nobiUtans Taburno Sotanoque et Helvico 
generibus, non pridem haec inlustrata atque VergiUi 
vatis aetate incognita, a cuius obitu xc aguntur 

^ Mayhojf : in ea gloria praecipua in. 
2 uvis ex Mayhoff : et ullis (e villis edd.). 



" The Greek name means * oow's-udder grapes.' 
* Really not from patior but from pando, spread out to dry 
in the sun. 

196 



BOOK XIV. III. 15-18 

merely white and bluck are the common sorts. But 
the large-cluster " grapes swell out Hke a breast 
and the finger-grapes have an exceptionally long 
berrj^ Also such is the sportiveness of nature that 
very large grapes have small grapes chnging to 
them as companions which rival them in sweetness : 
these are called in Greek ' small-berry ' vines. 
Some grapes will last all through the winter if the 
clusters are hung by a string from the ceiling, and 
others will keep merely in their own natural vigour 
by being stood in earthenware jars with casks put 
over them, and packed round with fermenting 
grape-skins ; others can be given a flavour by 
smoke, which also adds flavour to w4nes, and the 
authority of Tiberius Caesar has caused particular 
glory in regard to the efficiency of smoke in this 
respect to attach to the forges of Africa ; before his 
time priority at the table belonged to the Raetic 
grapes from the territorv of Verona. Moreover, 
raisins are called ' passi ' * from having ' endured ' the Raisins. 
sun. Grapes are also preserved in must, and so made 
drunk with their own wine, and some are made 
sweeter by being placed in must that has been boiled 
down ; but others remain on the parent vine to await 
the coming of a new generation, acquiring a glassy 
transparency, and the astringency of pitch poured 
on the footstalk gives them the same durable hard- 
ness that it gives to wine in casks or jars. A vine has 
now been discovered that of itself produces a flavour 
of pitch in the wine : this vine gives celebrity to 
the territory of Vienne by the varieties of Monte 
Taburno and of the Sotani and Helvii ; it has become 
famous only recently and was unknown in the period 
of the poet Virgil, who died 90 years ago. Add that 

197 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

19 anni. quid quod inserta castris summam rerum 
imperiumque continet centurionum in manu vitis, et 
opimo praemio tardos ordines ad lentas ^ perducit 
aquilas, atque etiam in delictis poenam ipsam hono- 
rat ? nec non vineae oppugnationum dedere ra- 
tionem. nam in medicaminibus adeo magnum 
optinent locum ut per sese vino ipso remedia sint. 

20 IV. Genera vitium numero conprehendi posse unus 
existimavit Democritus, cuncta sibi Graeciae cognita 
professus : ceteri innumera atque infmita esse prodi- 
derunt, quod verius apparebit ex vinis. nec omnia 
dicentur, sed maxime insignia, quippe totidem paene 
sunt quot agri, quamobrem celeberrimas vitium aut 
quibus est aUqua proprietate miraculum ostendisse 
satis erit. 

21 Principatus datur Aminaeis firmitatem propter 
senioque proficientem vini eius utique vitam. quin- 
que earum genera ; ex his germana minor ^ minore ^ 
acino meUus deflorescit, imbres tempestatesque tole- 
rat, non item maior, sed in arbore quam in iugo 

22 minus obnoxia. gemellarum, quibus hoc nomen uvae 
semper geminae dedere, asperrimus sapor sed vires 

^ laetas vel elatas edd. 

2 Edd. : minore. 

^ minore add. [vel acino om.) Rackham. 



" The centurion's rod of office was a vine sapling. 

* l.e. to promotion, though slow in coming, 

' Only soidiers who were Roman citizena were beaten with 
a vine sapling. 

'^ The vinea was a portable penthouse under which troops 
advanced to lay siege to a town; the idea of it was taken 
trom trellised vines. 

' Viz. germana minor, germana maior, gemella minor, 
gemeila maior, lanata. 

198 



BOOK XIV. III. i8-iv. 22 

the vine '^ has been introduced into the canip, and in 
the hand of the centurions is the mainstay of supreme 
authority and command and with its rich reward it 
lures on the laggard ranks to the tardy eagles,* and 
even in offences it confers honour on punishment 
itself.^ Moreover it was vineyards ^ that suggested 
a method for siege-trains. As for medicines, grapes 
hold such an important place among them that they 
act as remedies in themselves, merely by supplying 
wine. 

IV. Democritus, who professed to know all the Varietiesoj 
different kinds of vines in Greece, was alone in think- *""^* 
ing it possible for them to be counted, but all other 
writers have stated that there is a countless and 
infinite number of varieties ; and the truth of this will 
appear more clearly if we consider the various kinds 
of wines. We shall not mention all of them, but 
the most famous, inasmuch as there are almost as 
many wines as there are districts, so that it will be 
enough to have pointed out the most celebrated kinds 
of wine or the ones remarkable for some special 
property. 

The highest rank is given to the vines of Aminaea, Tiie Ami- 
on account of the body of that wine and its hfe, which £Xlrt*'"^ 
undoubtedly improves with age. There are five 
varieties * of these vines ; of these the * younger 
sister ' with a smaller berry sheds its blossom better/ 
and can stand rain and stormy weather, which is not 
the case with the ' elder sister,' though this is less 
hable to damage when trained on a tree than when 
on a frame. The ' twin sisters,' which have got this 
name because the bunches always grow in pairs, 
give a wine with a very rough flavour but of ex- 

I.e. with less damage to the young grape, c/. § 34. 

199 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

praecipuae. ex his minor austro laeditur, ceteris 
ventis alitur, ut in Vesuvio monte Surrentinisque 
collibus ; in reliquis Italiae partibus non nisi arbori 
accommodata. quintum genus lanatae ; ne Seras 
miremur aut Indos adeo, lanugo eam vestit. prima 
ex Aminaeis maturescit ocissimeque putrescit. 

23 Proxima dignitas Nomentanis rubente materia, 
quapropter quidam rubellas appellavere vineas. 
hae minus fertiles, vinaceis et faece nimiae, contra 
pruinas fortissimae, siccitate magis quam imbre, 
aestu quam algore vexantur ; quamobrem in frigidis 
umidisque principatum obtinent. fertilior quae minor 
acino et folio scissa minus. 

24 Apianis apes dedere cognomen, praecipue earum 
avidae. ex iis duo genera lanugine et ipsa pube- 
scunt; distant quod altera celerius maturescit, 
quamquam et altera properante. situs frigidi iis ^ 
non respuuntur, et tamen nullae celerius imbre 
putrescunt. vina primo dulcia austeritatem annis 
accipiunt. Etruria nuUa magis vite gaudet. 

25 Et hactenus potissima nobilitas datur peculiaribus 
atque vernaculis Italiae : ceterae advenere. e ^ Chio 
Thasove Graecula non inferior Aminaeis bonitate, 

1 Mayhoff : frigidus aut frigidos. 

2 e add. Pintianus. 



* A reference to Indian cotton and Chinese silk, the latter 
often supposed to be a wool obtained from trees. 

* Probabiy the muscatel (named from musca, a fly, 
attracted by its sweetness). 

200 



BOOK XIV. IV. 22-25 

ceptional strength ; the smaller of these ' twins ' is 
damaged by a south wind, but the other winds give 
it nutriment, for instance on Mount Vesuvius and 
the hills of Sorrento, but in all other parts of Italy 
it only flourishes when trained on trees. The fifth 
kind is the * woolly ' grape — for, to prevent our being 
very much surprised at the Chinese or the Indians,'' 
it is covered with a coat of down. It ripens first of 
the Aminaean grapes, and decays the most quickly. 

The next rank belongs to the vines of Mentana, the Nextthe 
wood of which is red, in consequence of which some ^°"^('^^^- 
people have called them the ' ruddy vines.' These 
produce less wine, as they have too much husk and 
lees, but they are very strong in resisting frost, and 
they suffer worse from drought than rain and from heat 
than cold, and consequently they hold the first place 
in cold and damp locaUties. The variety with a 
smaller berry is more productive, and the one with a 
cleft leaf less. 

The ' bee-vine ' ^ is so called because bees are The 
specially fond of it. It has two varieties, which also '""^'^'^'- 
are covered with down in the young state ; the 
difference between them is that one ripens more 
quickly than the other, although the latter also ripens 
fast. These vines do not object to cold situations, 
and nevertheless no others rot more quickly from 
rain. The wines made from them are sweet at first 
but acquire roughness in the course of years. In 
Tuscany this vine flourishes more than any other. 

So far we assign the chief distinction to the vincs ForHgnvines 
pecuHar and indigenous to Italy . The remaining kinds I>^ naiy!^ 
have come from abroad. From Chios or Thasos is 
imported a Greek Hght wine not inferior in quahty to 
the Aminaean vintages ; the vine has a very tender 

201 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

praetenera acino, et uva tam parva ut nisi pinguissimo 
solo colere non prosit. eugeniam Tauromenitani 
colles cum generositatis cognomine misere Albano 
tantum agro, quoniam alio ^ tralata statim mutatur : 
namque est aliquis tantus locorum amor ut omnem in 
iis gloriam suam relinquant nec usquam transeant 

26 totae. quod et in Raetica Allobrogicaque quam 
supra picatam appellavimus evenit, domi nobilibus 
nec agnoscendis alibi. fecundae tamen bonitatis 
vice copiam praestant, eugenia ferventibus locis, 
Raetica temperatis, Allobrogica frigidis, gelu mature- 

27 scens et colore nigra. ex iis quas adhuc diximus, sed 
etiam e nigris, vina vetustate in album colorem 
transeunt. reliquae ignobiles, aliquando tamen caeli 
aut soli opera non ^ fallunt vetustate,^ sicuti Faecenia 
et cum ea florens Biturigiaca acino rarior, numquam 
floris obnoxii, quoniam non favonium * antecedunt 
ventisque et imbribus resistunt, meliores tamen 
algentibus locis quam calidis, umidis quam sitientibus. 

28 visulla grandi magis quam denso uvarum partu, 
impatiens variantis caeli, sed contra tenorem unum 
algoris aestusve constans. quae minor est ex eo 
genere melior. in eligendo solo morosa pingui 

^ alio add. Rackham. 

2 vino Detlefsen. 

^ MayhofJ { ?) : vetustatem. 

* non favonium add. lan coll. ii 122, xv 12 sq. 



" Or possibly Bordeaux. 
* Not identified. 



202 



BOOK XIV. IV. 25-28 

grape, and such small clusters that it does not pay 
to grow it except in a very rich soil. The eugenia, 
with its name denoting high quaUty, has been im- 
ported from the hills of Taormina to be grown only 
in the territory of Alba, as if transplanted else- 
where it at once degenerates : for in fact some vines 
have so strong an affection for certain localities that 
they leave all their reputation behind there and 
cannot be transphmted elsewhere in their full vigour. 
This occurs also with the Rhaetian and Allobrogian 
grapes — the latter the grape with the flavour of pitch 
which we mentioned above — which are famous at § 18. 
home but not worth recognition elsewhere. All the 
same, being good bearers they make up in quantity 
what they lack in quahty, the eugenia grape in 
warm locahties, the Raetic in those with a moderate 
cHmate and the Allobrogian in cold districts, as it 
ripens in frost and has a black colour. The wines 
made from the grapes so far mentioned, even from 
the black ones, turn to a white colour with age. 
The remaining vines are of no quahty, although 
occasionally owing to the agency of chmate or soil 
they are not disappointing when old, as in the case 
of the Faecenian vine, and that of Bourges* which 
blossoms at the same time but has fewer grapes ; their 
blossom is never hable to injury, as they do not come 
before the west wind of early spring and can with- 
stand wind and rain, although they do better in cold 
places than in warm ones and in damp situations than 
in dry . The visulla ' bears clusters of large size rather 
than closely packed; it cannot stand changes of 
weather, but lasts well against a continuous spell of 
cold or heat. The smaller variety of this kind is the 
better one. It is difficult to please in choice of soil, 

203 



PIJNY: NATURAL HISTORY 

putrescit, gracili omnino non provenit ; mediam 
temperiem delicate quaerit, ob hoc Sabinis collibus 
familiaris. uva eius indecora visu, sapore iucunda; 
nisi matura protinus rapitur, etiam non putrescens 
cadit. contra grandines eam tuetur foliorum ampli- 
tudo atque duritia. 

29 Insignes iam colore inter purpureas nigrasque medio 
helvolae saepius variantes et ob id varianae a qui- 
busdam appellatae. praefertur in iis nigrior ; utra- 
que altemis annis fertiHs, sed mehor vino cum parcior. 
et praeciae duo genera magnitudine acini dis- 
cernuntur, quibus materies plurima uvaque ollis 

30 utilissima ; folium apio simile. bahscam Dyrrachini 
celebrant, Hispaniae coccolobin vocant; rarior uva 
aestus austrosque tolerat, capiti inimica, copia larga. 
Hispaniae duo genera eius faciunt, unum oblongo 
acino, alterum rotundo; novissimas vindemiant. 
quo dulcior est coccolobis, hoc meHor; sed et austera 
transit in dulcem vetustatem,^ et quae dulcis fuit in 

31 austeritatem ; tunc Albano vino aemulantur. tra- 
dunt vesicae vitiis utiHssimum ex iis potum. albueHs 

^ V.l. vetustate. 

" Said to mean * cox-comb ' in thie veruacular. 
204 



BOOK XIV. IV. 28-31 

as in a ricli soil it decays and in a thin soil it does not 
come on at all ; its fastidiousness requires an inter- 
mediate blend of soil, and that is why it is common in 
the Sabine hill country. Its grapes are not attractive 
to look at, but have an agreeable flavour ; if they are 
not gathered as soon as they are ripe, they will fall 
off even before they decay. Its hardiness and the 
size of the leaves protect the grapes against hail- 
storms. 

The grapes called helvolae again are remarkable other kinds 
for rather frcquently varying in their colour, which %^^nevcTy- 
is midway between the purple grapes and the black ^^erefor 
ones, and they have consequently been called by some """^' 
people varianae. Among them the blacker kind is 
prefeiTcd; both kinds bear large crops every other 
year, though they make better wine when the crop 
is less abundant. Also the praecia vine has two 
varieties, distinguished by the size of the grape ; 
these vines make a great deal of wood, and their 
bunches are most useful for storing in jars ; the leaf 
rescmbles parsley. The people of Durazzo speak 
highly of the bahsca vine, which the Spanish provinces 
call coccolobis " ; its grapes grow in rather scanty 
bunches and can stand hot weather and south winds ; 
its vdno, is apt to go to the head, but the yield is 
abundant. The Spanish provinces distinguish two 
kinds of this vine, one having an oblong grape and 
the other a round one ; they gather them last of 
all. The sweeter the coccolobis grape is, the better 
it is ; but even if it has a rough taste it turns sweet 
with age, and one that was sweet turns roiigh ; in 
the last state they are held to rival the wine of 
Alba. It is said that to drink the juice of this 
grape is very good for disorders of the bladder. The 

205 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

summis arboribus fertilior est, visulla imis ; quamo- 
brem circa easdem satae diversitate naturae locuple- 
tant. inerticulam e nigris appellavere, iustius so- 
briam dicturi, inveterato praecipue commendabilem 
vino sed viribus innoxiam, siquidem temulentiam sola 

32 non facit. fertilitas commendat ceteras princi- 
pemque helvennacam. duo eius genera: maior, 
quam quidam longam, minor quam emarcum ^ appel- 
lant, non tam fecundam sed gratiorem haustu; dis- 
cernitur foho circinato, verum utraque gracilis. 
furcas subdere iis necessarium, aUoqui ubertatem 
suam non tolerant. maritimo adflatu gaudent, 

33 roscida odere. nuUa vitium minus Italiam amat, 
rara, parva, putrescens in ea, vino quoque quod 
genuit aestatem non exuperans ; nec aHa macro solo 
famiharior. Graecinus, qui alioqui Cornehum Celsum 
transcripsit, arbitratur non naturam eius repugnare 
Itahae sed culturam avide palmites evocantium ; ob 
id fertiUtate sua absumi, si non praepinguis soh 
ubertas lassescentem sustineat. carbunculare ne- 

^ Hardouin e Columella : marcum. 
206 



BOOK XIV. IV. 31-33 

albuelis vine bears more friiit at the top of the 
trces that it is grown on, the \1sulla on the 
bottoni branches ; and consequently, when both 
are planted round the same trees, owing to this 
difference of habit they produce rich crops. One of 
the black grapes has been named ' the good-for- 
nothing,' though it might more properly be styled 
' the sober,' as the wine it produces is admirable, 
particularly when old, but though strong it has no ill 
effects : in fact this is the only vintage that does not 
cause intoxication. AU the other kinds of vine have 
the recommendation of bearing freely, and chief 
among them the helvennaca. Of this there are two 
kinds, one larger, which some people call the long 
helvennaca, the other smaller, callcd emarcus ; the 
latter is not so prolific but produccs a wine of more 
agreeable flavour ; it is distinguished by its rounded 
leaf, but both kinds have a slender growth. They 
require to be supported on forked props, otherwise 
they cannot support the weight of their abundant 
fruit. They like a sea breeze, and dislike damp dews. 
None of the vines love Italy less, for there it grows 
leafless and stunted and soon decays, and also the 
wine it produces will not keep beyond the summer ; 
and no other ^ine is more at home in a thin soil. 
Graecinus, who has generally copied Cornelius Celsus, 
thinks that it is not the nature of this vine to 
which Italy is not friendly but thc mode of culti- 
vating it, as growers are too eager to make it put 
out shoots ; the consequence of this, he says, is 
that it is used up by its own fertility, unless the 
bounty of the soil is so rich as to afford it sup- 
port when it begins to droop. It is said that this 
vine never contracts carbuncle, which is a very 

207 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

gatur, magna dote, si verum est aliqua in vite caelo 
non esse ius. 

34 Aestus fert spionia, quam quidam spineam vocant, 
autumnique imbribus pinguescit ; quin immo nebulis 
una alitur, ob id Ravennati agro peculiaris. venicu- 
lam inter optume deflorescentes et ollis aptissimam 
Canipani malunt surculam vocare, alii scapulam, 
Tarracina Numisianam, nuUas vires proprias haben- 
tem, sed totam perinde ac solum valeat, Surrentinis 

35 tamen efficacissima testis Vesuvio tenus. ibi enim 
Murgentina e Sicilia potentissima, quam Pompeianam 
aliqui vocant, laeto ^ demum feracem, sicut horconia 
in Campania tantum. e diverso arceraca Vergilio 
argitis dicta ultro solum laetius facit, ipsa contra 
imbres et senectam fortissima, vino quidem vix 
annua ac vilitatis cibariae sed ubertate praecipua. 
tolerat et annos mettica, contra omne sidus firmissima, 
nigro acino, vinis in vetustate rufescentibus. 

36 Et hactenus publica sunt genera, cetera regionum 
locorumque aut ex his inter se insitis mixta, si 
quidem in^ Tuscis peculiaris est Tudertibus,^ atque 

1 laeto (solo) ? Ba^kharn : Latio edd. 

2 in add. ? Mayhoff. 

3 Tudertibus? Mayhoff Tudemis. 



" Oeorgics II. 99. 



208 



BOOK XIV. IV. 33-36 

valuablc property, if indccd it is triie that tliere is 
any vine tliat is exempt from the powcr of the 
cHmate. 

The spionia, called by some the thorn-vine, is able to 
bear heat, and is ripened by rainy weather in autumn ; 
what is more, indeed, it is the only vine that thrives 
from fog, on which account it is specially grown in the 
district of Ravenna. The venicula is one of the best 
vines that shed their flowers, and its grapes are par- 
ticularly well suited for preserving in jars ; the people 
of Campania prefer to call it by the name of surcula, 
and others by that of scapula, while the name for it 
at Tarracina is Numisiana ; it has no strength of its 
own but is entirely conditioned by the strcngth of the 
soil ; all the same, as far south as Vesuvius it is very 
potent if kept in earthenware jars from Sorrento. 
For at Vesuvius there is Murgentina, a very strong 
vine imported from Sicily, called by some Pompeiana, 
which only bears well in a rich soil, just as the horconia 
vine only flourishes in Campania. The opposite is 
the case with the arceraca, called in Virgil" argitis, 
which has the property of imparting extra richness to 
the soil, while itself offering a very stout resistance to 
rain and to old age, though it will hardly produce 
wine every year, and its grapes are only valued for 
eating, but it bears exceptionally large crops. The 
mettica vine also stands the years, and faces all 
weather very strongly ; it bears a black grape, and 
its wines acquire a reddish colour in old age. 

The kinds of vine mentioned so far are grown itaiian locai 
everywhere, but those remaining belong to particular ^^apeljor 
districts and places, or are crosses producedby grafting making^ 
one of these on another: thus among the vines of 
Tuscany that of Todi is a special variety, and also 

209 



wine. 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

etiam nomen iis Florentiae sopina, Arretio talpona 
et etesiaca et conseminea. talpona nigra candidum 
facit mustum ; etesiaca fallax, quo plus tulit, hoc 
laudabilius fundit, mirumque, fecunditate pariter et 
bonitate cessat; conseminea^ nigra, vino minime 
durante, uva maxime, post xv dies quam uUa alia 

37 metitur, fertilis set cibaria. huius folia sicuti 
labruscae prius quam decidant sanguineo colore 
mutantur ; evenit hoc et quibusdam ahis pessimi 
generis argumento. itriola Umbriae Mevanatique 
et Piceno agro pecuUaris est, Amiternino pumila.^ 
isdem bananica fallax est, adamant tamen eam. 

38 municipii sni uvam^ Pompeiani * nomine appellant, 
quamvis Clusinis copiosiorem ; municipii et Tiburtes 
appellavere, quamvis oleagineam nuper invenerint 
a simihtudine oUvae : novissima haec uvarum ad hoc 
tempus reperta est. vinaciolam soU noverunt Sabini, 
calventinam Gaurani. scio e Falerno agro tralatas 
vocari Falernas, celerrime ubique degenerantes. nec 
non Surrentinum genus fecere aUqui praedulci uva. 

39 capnios et buconiates et tharrupia in Thurinis coUibus 

^ Warmington : consemina. 

* Rackham: pumula. 

^ Dellefsen : municipii suam. 

* Rackham: Pompei. 

* Conseminea denotes growing from several different seeds. 
2IO 



BOOK XIV. IV. 36-39 

they have special names, a vine at Florence being 
called sopina and sonie at Arezzo * mole-vine ' and 
* seasonal vine ' and ' crossed vine.'" The mole-vine 
has black grapes and makes a white must ; the seasonal 
vine is a deceptive plant, giving a more admirable 
wine the larger crop of grapes it bears, and, remark- 
able to say, coming to the end of its fertility and its 
good quaUty at the same time ; the crossed vine has 
black grapes and makes a wine that does not keep at all 
long, but its grape keeps a \ery long time, and it is 
gathered a fortnight later than any other variety, 
bearing a large crop of grapes but only good for eating. 
The leaves of this vine, hke those of the wild vine, 
turn a blood-red colour before they fall ofF; this also 
happens with some other vines, and is a sign of ex- 
tremely inferior quaUty. The itriola is pecuHar to Um- 
bria and to the districts of Bevagna and Ancona, and 
the ' dwarf-vine ' to that of San Vettorino. The same 
districts have the bananica, an unreHable vine, though 
people become fond of it. The people of Pompei 
give the name of their township to a grape, although 
it grows in greater quantity at Chiusi ; the people of 
TivoH also name a grape after their township, al- 
though they have lately discovered the * oHve-grape,' 
so caHed from its resemblance to an oHve : this is the 
latest grape introduced hitherto. The vinaciola grape 
is only known to the Sabines and the calventina to the 
people of Mount Gaurus. Vines transplanted from 
the Falernian territory are, I am aware, caUed 
' Falernian,' but tliey very quickly degenerate every- 
where. Some people also have made out a Sorrento 
variety, with a very sweet grape. The ' smoke-grape,' 
the ' mouthful ' and the tharrupia, which grow on the 
hiHs of Thurii, are not picked before there has been a 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

non ante demetuntur quam gelaverit. Pariana 
gaudent Pisae, Mutina Perusinia nigro acino, intra 
quadriennium albescente vino. mirum ibi cum sole 
circumagi uvam quae ob id streptis vocatur, et in 
Italia Gallicam placere, trans Alpis vero Picenam. 
dixit Vergilius Thasias et Mareotidas et Lageas con- 
plurisquc externas, quae non reperiuntur in Italia. 

40 Sed sunt etiamnum insignes uva, non vino : ambro- 
sia e duracinis (sine ullis vasis in vite servabilis ^ — 
tanta est contra frigora, aestus tempestatesque 
firmitas ; nec [orthampelos] ^ indiget arbore aut paHs, 
ipsa se sustinens, non item dactylides digitali gracili- 
tate), columbinae a racemosis,^ et magis purpureae 

41 cognomine bimammiae quando non racemos sed uvas 
alias gerunt, item tripedanea cui nomen a mensura 
est, item scirpula passo acino et Raetica in maritimis 
Alpibus appellata, dissimilis laudatae illi; namque 
haec brevis, conferta acino, degener vino, sed cute 
omnium tenuissima, nucleo (quod chium vocant) uno 
ac minimo, acinum praegrandem unum alterumve 
habens. est et nigra Aminea, cui Syriacae nomen 
inponunt, item Hispana ignobiUum probatissima. 

1 V.l. servatur. 

2 Gloss. Mudhr. 

3 V.l. racemosissimis. 

212 



BOOK XIV. IV. 39-41 

frost. Pisa rejoices in the vine ofParos, and Modena 

in the vine of Perugia, which has a black grape and 

makes a wine that within four years turns white. It 

is a reraarkable fact that at Modena there is a grape 

that turns round with the sun and is consequently 

called in Greek the ' revolving grape ' ; and that in 

Italy a grape from Gaul is popular, but across the 

Alps that of Picenum. Virgil mentions a Thasian Georgks u. 

vine, a Maraeotid and a Lagean, and a number of 

other foreign kinds that are not found in Italy. 

But again there are some vines which are dis- Vinex grown 
tinguished for their grapes and not for their wine, for f^f^**' 
instance, among the hard-berry group the ambrosia 
grape, which needs no jars but will keep on the 
vine, so strong is its resistance to cold and heat and 
to bad Mcather, nor does it require a tree or stakes 
to support it, as it sustains its own weight, though 
this is not the case with the dactyUs, the stalk of 
which is only the thickness of a fmger ; and among 
the vines with large bunches the pigeon-vine, and 
still more the purple ' double-bosomed ' vine, so 
called because it does not bear clusters but only 
secondary bunches ; and also the * three-foot ' vine, 
named from its size, and also the ' rush ' vine with its 
shrivelled grape and the vine called the Raetic vine 
in the Maritime Alps, which is quite unUke the famous 
vine of that name, because this is a short-stalked vine 
with closely packed clusters and producing a low class 
of wine ; but it has the thinnest skin of any grape, and 
a single very smaU stone (caUed chium), and one or two 
grapes in each bunch are exceptionaUy large. There 
is also the black Aminean grape to which they give 
the name of ' Syrian grape,' and also the Spanish grape, 
which is the most highly rated of the inferior kinds. 

213 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

42 In pergulis vero seruntur escariae appellatae e 
duracinis, albae nigraeque, et bumasti totidem colori- 
bus, ac nondum dictae Aegia et Rhodia et uncialis, 
velut a pondere acini, item picina omnium nigerrima, 
et coronario naturae lusu stephanitis, acinos foliis 
intercursantibus, et quae forenses vocantur, celeres 
proventu, vendibiles aspectu, portatu faciles. contra 
damnantur etiam visu cinerea et rabuscula ^ et asinus- 
ca, minus tamen caudas vulpium imitata alopecis. 

43 Alexandrina appellatur vitis circa Phalacram brevis, 
ramis cubitaUbus, acino nigro fabae magnitudine, 
nucleo molU et minimo, obUquis racemis praedulcibus, 
foUo parvo et rotundo, sine divisuris. septem his 
annis in Narbonensis provinciae Alba Hehda inventa 
est vitis uno die deflorescens, ob id tutissima; 
carbonicam ^ vocant, quam nunc tota provincia 
conserit. 

44 V. Catonum ille primus, triimipho et censura super 
cetera insignis, magis tamen etiamnum claritate 
Utterarum praeceptisque omnium rermxi expeten- 
darum datis generi Romano, inter prima vero agrum 
colendi, iUe aevi confessione optimus ac sine aemulo 

1 rubuscula ('Uttle bramble-grape') ? W armington. 
* Edd. {aut Narbonicam) : carbunican. 



• Perhaps so called from its grey colour. 

* *AXa)TTr)i, *fox.' 

' M. Porcius Cato, whose De re rustica (or De agri cultura) 
is quoted below, celebrated a triumph in 194 b.c. for his 
victories in Spain, and was censor in 184 b.c. The capture 
and destruction of Carthage and Corinth took place in 146 b.c, 
three years after his death. 

214 



BOOK XIV. IV. 42 -V. 44 

The kind called ' table-grapes,' one of the hard-berry 
group, are grown on trelHses — they are both white and 
black — and so are the ' co\v's-udder ' grapes, also of 
both colours, and those of Aegium and of llhodes, not 
mentioned before, and the ' one-ounce ' grape, appar- 
ently named from the weight of the berry, and also the 
' pitch grape,' the darkest in colour of all the black 
grapes, and the ' garland ' grape, the clusters of which 
by a sport of nature are arranged in a wreath with 
leaves interspersed among the berries, and the grapes 
called ' market-grapes,' a very quick bearer that 
attracts buyers by its appearance and stands carriage 
well. On the other hand the ashy grape and the dusky 
grape and the donkey-grape " are condemned even 
by their appearance, though this is less the case with 
the alopecis,* which resembles a fox's brush. A 
grape growing in the vicinity of Phalacra is called 
the Alexandrian grape ; it is a low-growing vine with 
branches only eighteen inches long and a black grape 
the size of a bean, with a soft and very small stone ; 
the clusters hang aslant and are extremely sw^eet ; the 
leaf is small and round, and has no clefts. Within the 
last seven years there has been discovered at Viviers 
in the province of Narbonne a vine whose blossoms 
wither in a day and which is consequently extremely 
immune to bad weather ; it is called the ' charcoal- 
vine,' and is now^ grown by the whole province. 

V. The elder Cato,^ who w^as exceptionally cele- catoon 
brated for his triumph and his censorship, though yet JJ^/"^ 
more for his Hterary distinction and for the precepts 
that he has given to the Roman nation upon every 
matter of utiHty, and in particular as to agriculture — 
a man who by the admission of his contemporaries 
was a supremely competent and unrivaUed agricul- 

215 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

agricola, paucta attigit vitium genera, quarundam ex 

45 his iam etiam nominibus abolitis. separatim toto 
tractatu sententia eius indicanda est, ut in omni 
genere noscamus quae fuerint celeberrima anno dc 
urbis, circa captas Carthaginem ac Corinthum, cum 
supremum is diem obiit, et quantum postea ccxxx 
annis vita profecerit. ergo de vitibus uvisque ita 

46 prodidit : ' Qui locus vino optimus dicitur ^ esse et 
ostentus soHbus, Aminium minusculum et geminum 
eugenium, helvium minusculum conserito. qui locus 
crassior aut nebulosior, Aminium maius aut Mur- 
gentinum, Apicium Lucanum serito. ceterae vites 
miscellae maxime in quemvis agrum conveniunt. 
in olla cum ^ vinaceis conduntur Aminium minu- 
sculum et maius et Apicium ; eadem in sapa et musto, 
in lora recte conduntur. quas suspendas duracinas 
Aminias maiores, vel ad fabrum ferrarium pro passis 

47 hae recte servantur.' Nec sunt vetustiora de illa re 
Latinae hnguae praecepta : tam prope ab origine 
rerum sumus. Aminiam proxime dictam Varro 
Scantianam vocat. 

In nostra aetate pauca exempla consummatae 
huius artis fuere, verum eo minus omittenda, ut 
noscantur etiam praemia, quae in omni re maxime 

48 spectantur. summam ergo adeptus est gloriam Acihus 



1 V.l. dicetur. 

2 cum add. Rackham (in vinaceis Cato). 

2i6 



BOOK XIV. V. 44-48 

tiiralist — has dealt with only a few varieties of the 

vine, inchiding some even the names of which are now 

extinct. His opinion deserves to be set out separately 

and liandled at full lcngth, to make us accjuainted 

with the varieties which were the most famous in the 

wholc of this class in the year 154 b.c, about the 

time of the taking of Carthage and Corinth, the period 

of Cato's demise — and to show us how great an 

advance civihzation has made in the subsequent 230 

years, The foUowing therefore are the remarks that 

he made on the subject of vines and grapes : ' In the i^- ^- ^i- ■*-. 

locahty pronounced to be best for the vine and fully 

exposed to the sun, you should plant the small variety 

of Aminian and the double eugenium, and also the 

small helvia. In a denser soil or a locahty more hable 

to io^ you should plant the larger Aminian or the 

Murgentine, the Apician, and the Lucanian. All the 

othcr varieties of vine, especially hybrids, are suited to 

anv kind of land. The smah Aminian grape and the 

larger one and the Apician are stored unstoned in a 

jar ; they can also be kept in new wine boiled down 

and must, and properly in after-wine. The larger 

Aminian hard-berry grapes, which one you hang up, 

are properly kept, for instance at a blacksmith's forge, 

to make raisins.' Nor are there any older instructions 

on this subject written in Latin, so near we are to the 

origin of things. The Aminian grape last mentioned 

is called by \^arro the Scantian. 

In our own period tliere have been few instances of ^odem 
consummate skiU in this iieki, but it is ali the more vine-groinvg. 
proper on that account not to omit them, so as also to 
make known the rewards of success, which in eveiy 
department attract the greatest attention. Well, 
the greatest distinction was achieved b}^ Acihus 

voL. Tv. jj 217 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

Sthenelus e plebe libertina lx iugerum non amplius 
vineis excultis in Nomentano agro atque cccc 

49 nummum venundatis. magna fama et Vetuleno 
Aegialo perinde libertino fuit in Campania rure 
Liternino, maiorque etiam favore hominum quoniam 
ipsum Africani colebat exilium; sed maxima, eius- 
dem Stheneh opera, Remmio Palaemoni, alias gram- 
matica arte celebri, in hisce xx annis mercato rus 
Dc nummum in eodem Nomentano decimi lapidis ab 

50 urbe deverticulo. est autem usquequaque nota 
viUtas mercis peromnia suburbana,ibi tamen maxime, 
quoniam et neglecta indihgentia ^ praedia paraverat 
ac ne in pessimis quidem elegantioris soH. haec 
adgressus excolere non virtute animi sed vanitate 
primo, quae nota mire in illo fuit, pastinatis de 
integro vineis cura StheneU, dum agricolam imitatur, 
ad vix credibile miraculum perduxit, intra octavum 
annum cccc nummum emptori addicta pendente 

51 vindemia ; cucurritque nemo non ^ ad spectandas 
uvarum in iis vineis strues, Htteris eius altioribus 
contra id pigra \dcinitate sibi patrocinante, et ^ novis- 
sime Annaeo Seneca, principe tum eruditorum ac 

^ indiligenti (-sc. homini) ? Mnyhoff. 
2 Oronovius : non nemo. 
' et add. Rackham. 



" The elder Scipio Africanus retired voluntarily to his 
country seat at Liternum in 185 b.c. and died there a year or 
two later. 

2l8 



BOOK XIV. V. 48-51 

Sthenelus, a plebeian, the son of a freedman, by his 
intensive cultivation of a vineyard of not more than 
60 iugera, in the region of Mentana, which he sold 
for 400,000 sesterces. Also Vetulenus Aegiakis, 
he too a freedman, gained a great reputation in 
the district of Liternum in Campania, and a still 
greater reputation in pubHc esteem on account of his 
cultivating the estate which had been the place of 
exile of Africanus"; but the greatest reputation, 
thanks to the activity of the same Sthenelus, attached 
to Remmius Palaemon, also famous for his treatise on 
grammar, who within the last 20 years bought a farm 
for 600,000 sesterces inthe same regionof Mentana, 
at the turning ofFthe main road ten miles from Rome. 
The low price of property through all the districts 
just outside the city in every direction is notorious, 
but especially in the neighbourhood referred to, since 
Palaemon had bought farms that had also been let 
down by neglect and that were not above the average 
quahty of soil even among those extremely poor 
estates. He undertook the cultivation of this 
property not from any high motive but at first out of 
vanity, for which he was known to be so remarkable ; 
but he had the vineyards dug and trenched afresh 
under the superintendence of Sthenelus, and so, 
though only playing the part of a farmer, he finally 
got the estate into an almost incredibly wonderful 
condition, as within eight years, the vintage, while 
still hanging on the trees, was knocked down to a 
purchaser at a price of 400,000 sesterces ; and every- 
body ran to see the piles of grapes in these vineyards, 
while the sluggish neighbourhood vindicated itself 
against this discredit by the excuse of his exception- 
ally profound studies, and recently Annaeus Seneca, 

219 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

potentia quae postremo nimia ruit super ipsum, 
minime utique miratore inanium, tanto praedii huius 
amore capto ut non puderet inviso alias et ostentaturo 
tradere palmam eam, emptis quadriplicato vineis 

52 illis intra decimum fere curae annum. digna opera 
quae in Caecubis Setinisque agris proficeret, quando 
et postea saepenumero septenos culleos singula 
iugera, hoc est amphoras centenas quadragenas, 
musti dedcre. ac ne quis victam in hoc antiquitatem 
arbitretur, idem Cato denos culleos redire ex iugeri- 
bus scripsit, efficacibus exempHs non maria plus 
temerata conferre mercatori, non in Rubrum Htus 
Indicumve merces petitas quam sedulum ruris larem. 

53 VI. Vino antiquissima claritas Maroneo in Thraciae 
maritimae parte genito, ut auctor est Homerus. 
neque enim fabulosa aut de origine eius varie pro- 
dita consectemur,! praeterquam Aristaeum primum 
omnium in eadem gentc mel miscuisse vino, suavitate 
praecipua utriusque naturae sponte provenientis. 
Maroneum vicies tanto addito aquae miscendum 

54 Homerus prodidit. durat etiamnum vis in eadem 

^ Warmington; conseotamur. 



BOOK XIV. V. 51-V1. 54 

the most learned person of the day, and eminent in 
power which ultimately grew to excess and came 
crashing about his ears — a man who was at all events 
no admirer of frivoUties — was seized with such a 
passionate desire for this estate that he was not 
ashamed to concede this victory to one whom he other- 
wise hated and who was sure to make the most of this 
advertisement, by buying the vineyards in question 
at four times the price Palaemon had paid for it 
within hardly more than ten years of its being under 
his management. This was a method of cultivation 
which it would be profitable to apply to the farms of 
Caecubum and Setia, since even subsequently the 
estate has frequently produced seven sacks, that is 140 
jars, of must to the iugerum. And to prevent anyone 
from supposing that the records of the days of old were 
beaten on this occasion, Cato also wrote that there 
were returns of 10 sacks to the iugerum, these in- 
stances conchisively proving that the merchant does 
not obtain more profit by rashly trespassing on the 
seas nor by going as far as the coast of the Red Sea 
or of tlie Indian Ocean to seek for merchandise, 
than is yielded by a diligently cultivated homestead. 

VI. The most ancient celebrity belongs to the wine Famous 
of Maronea grown in the seaboard parts of Thrace, ^"l^^''^^^^ 
as we learn from Homer. However, we need not 
pursue the legendary or variously reported stories qj. ix. 197 
concerning its origin, except the statement that 
Aristaeus was the first person of all in the same nation 
who mixed honey with wine, because of the out- 
standingly agreeable quahty of each of these natural 
products. Homer has recorded the mixing of Maro- Od. ix. 20!i 
nean wine with water in the proportion of 20 parts of 
water to one of wine. This class of wine in the same 

22T 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

terra generi rigorque indomitus, quippe cum Muci- 
anus ter consul ex iis qui nuperrime prodidere 
sextarios singulos octonis aquae misceri compererit 
praesens in eo tractu, esse autem colore nigrum, 
odoratum, vetustate pinguescere. 

Et Pramnio, quod idem Homerus celebravit, etiam 
nunc honos durat. nascitur Zmyrnae regione iuxta 
delubrum Matris deum. 

55 In reliquis claritas generi non fuit alicui, anno fuit 
omnium generum bonitate L. Opimio cos., cum C. 
Gracchus tribunus plebem seditionibus agitans 
interemptus est : ea caeli temperies fulsit (cocturam 
vocant), solis opere, nataU urbis dcxxxiii : durant- 
que adhuc vina ea cc fere annis, iam in speciem 
redacta melHs asperi: etenim haec natura vinis in 
vetustate est ; nec potari per se queant pervincive 
aqua, usque in amaritudinem carie indomita, sed 
ceteris vinis commendandis minima aliqua mixtm-a 

56 medicamenta sunt. quod ut eius temporis aesti- 
matione in singulas amphoras centeni nummi statu- 
antur, ex liis tamen ^ usura multiplicata semissibus, 

1 tantum Mayhoff. 
222 



BOOK XIV. VI. 54-56 

district still retains its strength and its insuperable 
vigour, inasniuch as one of the most recent authors, 
Mucianus, who was thrce times consul, ascertained 
when actually visiting tliat region that it is the 
custom to mix with one pint of this wine eight pints 
of water, and that it is bhick in colour, has a strong 
bouquet, and improves in substance with age. 

The Pramnian wine as well, also celebrated by 
Homer, still retains its fame. It is grown in the 11. xi. 639, 
territory of Smyrna, in the neighbourhood of the ^'^' -^" '"^^" 
shrine of the Mother of the Gods. 

Among the remaining wines no kind was particu- Winesof 
larly famous, but the year of the consulship of Lucius a^g^JiT"' 
Opimius, when the tribune Gaius Gracchus was "^'"^- 
assassinated for stirring up the common people with 
seditions, was renowned for the excellence of its 
vintages of all kinds — the weather was so fine and 
bright (they call it the ' boiling ' of the grape) 
thanks to the power of the sun, in the 633rd year 121 b.o. 
from the birth of the city ; and wines of that year 
still survive, having kept for nearly 200 years, 
though they have now been reduced to the con- 
sistency of honey with a rough flavour, for such in 
fact is the nature of wines in their old age ; and 
it w^ould not be possible to drink them neat or to 
counteract them with water, as their over-ripeness 
predominates even to the point of bitterness, but 
with a very small admixture they serve as a seasoning 
for improving all other wines. Assuming that by 
the valuation of that period their cost may be put 
at 100 sesterces per amphora, but that the interest 
on this sum has been adding up at 6 per cent. 
per annum, which is a legal and moderate rate, 
we have shown by a famous instance that in the 

223 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

quae civilis ac modica est, in C. Caesaris Gei*manici 
filii principatu, annis clx, singulas uncias vini eo ^ 
constitisse nobili exemplo docuimus referentes vitam 
Pomponii Secundi vatis cenamque quam principi 
illi dedit : tantum pecuuiarum detinent vini apothe- 

57 cae. nec alia res maius incrementum sentit ad 
vicensimum annum, maiusve ab eo dispendium non 
proficiente pretio. raro quippe adhuc fuere, nec 
nisi in nepotatu, singulis testis miha nummum, 
Viennenses soU picata sua, quorum genera diximus, 
pluris permutare, sed inter sese amore patrio, 
creduntur ; idque vinum frigidius reliquis existimatur 
in frigido potu. 

SS VII. Vino natura est hausto accendendi calore vis- 
cera intus, foris infuso refrigerandi. nec alienum fuerit 
commemorare hoc in loco quod Androcydes sapientia 
clarus ad Alexandrum Magnum scripsit intemperan- 
tiam eius cohibens : ' Vinum poturus, rex, memento 
bibere te sanguinem terrae. cicuta homini venenum 
est, cicutae vinum.' quibus praeceptis ille si 
obtemperavisset, profecto amicos in temulentia non 
interemisset, prorsus ut iure dici possit neque viribus 
corporis utiHus ahud neque voluptatibus ^ pernicio- 
sius si modus absit. 

1 vini eo Urlichs : vini ex (inl vineae. 

2 [voluptatibus] Muretns. 

" 'JMiis work is not extant. 

^ I.e. in the caso of a particular vintage, like Opimian, 
tbat is known to go on improving. 

*■ Clitus and Callisthenes. 

•* I.e. in debasing them and in cutting them short : unless 
the word is an interpolation. 

224 



BOOK XIV. VI. 56-vii. 58 

principate of Gaius Caesar, son of Germanicus, 160 a.d. 39. 
years after the consulship of Opimius, the wine cost 
that amount for one-twelfth of an amphora — -this 
appears in our biography " of the bard Pomponius 
Secundus and the banquet that he gave to the 
emperor mentioned : so large are the sums of money 
that are kept stored in our wine-cellars ! Indeed 
there is nothing else which experiences a greater in- 
crease of value up to the twentieth year — or a greater 
fall in value afterwards, supposing that there is not 
a rise of price.* Rarely indeed has it occurred 
hitherto and only in the case of some spendthrift's 
extravagance,for wine to fetch a thousand sesterces 
a cask. It is beheved that the people of Vienne 
alone sell their wines flavoured with pitch, the 
varieties of which we have specified, for a higher § i^. 
price, though out of patriotism they only sell it 
among themselves ; and this wine when drunk cold 
is beheved to be cooler than all the other kinds. 

VII. V>lne has the property of heating the parts of Physioiogicai 
the body inside when it is drunk and of coohng them '^ 
when poured on them outside. And it will not be 
out of place to recall here what the famous philosopher 
Androcydes wrote to Alexander the Great in an 
attempt to restrain his intemperance : ' When you 
are about to drink wine, O King, remember that you 
are drinking the earth's blood. Hemlock is poison 
to a human being and wine is poison to hemlock.' 
If Alexander had obeyed this advice, doubtless he 
would not have killed his friends '^ in his drunken 
fits ; so that in fact we are justified in saying that 
there is nothing else that is more useful for strength- 
ening the body, and aUo nothing more detrimental 
to our pleasures ^ if moderation be lacking. 

22^ 



PLINY: NATURAL IIISTORY 

59 VIII. Genera autem vini alia aliis gratiora esse quis 
dubitet, aut non norit^ ex eodem lacu aliud prae- 
stantius altero germanitatem praecedere sive testa 
sive fortuito eventu? quamobrem de principatu se 

60 quisque iudicem statuet. lulia Augusta lxxxvi ^ 
annos vitae Pucino vino rettulit acceptos, non alio 
usa. gignitur in sinu Hadriatici maris non procul a 
Timavi ^ fonte, saxoso coUe, maritimo adflatu paucas 
coquente amphoras ; nec aliud aptius medicamentis 
iudicatur. hoc esse crediderim quod Graeci cele- 
brantes miris laudibus Praetutianum * appellaverint 

61 ex Hadriatico sinu. Divus Augustus Setinum prae- 
tulit cunctis et fere secuti principes, confessa propter 
experimenta, non temere cruditatibus noxiis ab ea 
saliva nascentibus . . .^ nascitur supra Forum Appi. 
antea Caecubo erat generositas celeberrima in palus- 
tribus populetis sinu Amyclano, quod iam intercidit 
incuria coloni locique angustia, magis tamen fossa 
Neronis quam a Baiano lacu Ostiam usque naviga- 
bilem incohaverat. 

62 Secunda nobiUtas Falerno agro erat et ex eo 
maxime Faustiano ; cura culturaque id coegerat.® 

^ norit add. ? Mayhoff. 

2 lxxxnt: coll. Dione Cassio Nipperdey : Lxxxii. 

^ Rackham : Timavo. 

* Rackham coll. §§ 67, 75 : Praicianum, etc. 

^ nascentibus add. Warmington, lacunam Rackham. 

^ coegerat? colL^ 115 Mayhoff : collegerat. 

" L. Cornelius Sulla Faustus, son of the dictator. 
226 



BOOK XIV. VIII. 59-62 

VIII. VVho can doubt, however, that some kinds itaiinn 
of wine are more agreeable than others, or who "J^,^/"* 
does not know that one of two wines from tlie same ^«■''- 
vat can be superior to the other, surpassing its wili». " 
rehition either owing to its cask or from some acci- 
dental circumstance ? And consequently each man 
will appoint himself judge of the question which wine 
hoads the hst. JuHa Augusta gave the credit for her 
eighty-six years of Hfe to the wine of Pizzino, having 
never drunk any other. It is grown on a bay of the 
Adriatic not far from the source of the Timavus, on a 
rocky hill, where the breeze offthe sea ripens enough 
grapes to make a few casks ; and no other wine is 
considered more suitable for medicinal puq^oses. I 
am inchned to beheve that this is the wine from the 
Adriatic Gulf which the Greeks have extolled with 
such marvellous encomiums under the name of 
Praetutian. His late Majesty Augustus preferred 
Setinum to all wines whatsoever, and so for the most 
part did the Emperors who came after him, owing to 
the verdict of experience that because injurious 
attacks of indigestion do not readily arise from this 
liquor. . . . It grows just above Foro Appio. Pre- 
viously Caecuban wine had the reputation of being 
the most generous of all ; it was grown in some poplar 
woods 011 marshy ground on the Bay of Amyclae, 
but the vineyard has now disappeared owing to the 
neglect of the cultivator and the confined area of 
the ground, though in a greater degree owing to 
the ship canal from the lake of Baiae to Ostia that 
was begun by Nero. 

The second rank belonged to the Falernian district, Second-dass 
and in it particularly to the estate of Faustus '^ in "^'*^' 
consequence of the care taken in its cultivation ; but 

227 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

exolescit haec quoque culpa ^ copiae potius quam 
bonitati studentium. Falemus ager a ponte Cam- 
pano laeva petentibus Urbanam coloniam Sullanam 
nuper Capuae contributam incipit, Faustianus cir- 
citer iiii milia passuum a vico Caedicio, qui vicus 
a Sinuessa vi m. passuum abest. nec ulli nunc vino 
maior auctoritas. solum vinorum flamma accendi- 

63 tur. tria eius genera, austerum, duke, tenue. 
quidam ita distingunt, summis collibus Caucinum 
gigni, mediis Faustianum, imis Falernum. non 
omittendum autem nulli eorum quae celebrentur 
iucundum saporem uvae esse. 

64 Ad tertiam palmam varie venere Albana urbi 
vicina,2 praedulcia ac raro austera,^ item Surrentina 
in vineis tantum nascentia, convalescentibus maxime 
probata propter tenuitatem salubritatemque. Ti- 
berius Caesar dicebat consensisse medicos ut nobili- 
tatem Surrentino darent, alioqui esse generosum 
acetum, C. Caesar, qui successit illi, nobilem vappam. 
certant Massica atque a monte Gauro Puteolos 

65 Baiasque prospectantia. nam Falerno contermina 
Statana ad principatum venere non dubie, palamque 
fecere sua quibusque terris tempora esse, suos rerum 

^ culpa add. Dalec. 

2 urbi vicina om. v.l. 

^ laro austera ? Mayhoff : rara in austero. 

» I.e. on palisades, not trained on trees. 
228 



BOOK XIV. VIII. 62-65 

the reputation of this district also is passing out of 
vogue through the fault of paying more attention to 
quantity than to quahty. The Falernian district 
begins at the Campanian bridge as you turn left to 
reach the Colonia Urbana of Sulla lately attached 
to Capua, and the Faustus estate begins about four 
miles from the village of Caedicium, which is about 
six miles from Sinuessa. No other wine has a 
higher rank at the present day. It is the only wine 
that takes hght when a flame is applied to it. It 
has three varieties, one dry, one sweet and one a 
Hght wine. Some people distinguish three vintages 
as follows — Caucinian growing on the tops of the 
hills, Faustian half-way up them, and Falernian at 
the bottom. It must also not be omitted that 
none of the grapes that produce the celebrated 
vintages are agreeable to eat. 

The third prize is attained in various degrees by the Third-dn.$s 
vines of Alba in the neighbourhood of the city, which '^'""' 
are extremely sweet and occasionally dry, and also 
by those of Sorrento which only grow in vineyards," 
and which are very highly recommended for con- 
valescents because of their thinness and health- 
giving qualities. The Emperor Tiberius used to say 
that the doctors had made a corner to puff the Sor- 
rento vintage, but that except for that it was only a 
generous vinegar, and his successor the Emperor 
Gaius called it best quality flat M-ine. Its place 
is contested by the vineyards of Monte Massico and 
the slopes of Monte Barbaro looking towards Pozzuoli 
and Baiae. For the Statana vineyards adjoining the 
Falernian territory unquestionably once reached the 
first place, and estabHshed the fact that each locaHty 
has its own period and its own rise and decHne of 

229 



PLINY: NATURAL HLSTORY 

proventus occasusque. iuncta iis praeponi solebant 
Calena ct quae in lineis arbustisque nascuntur 
Fundana et alia ex vicinia urbis, Veliterna, Priver- 
natia. nam quod Signiae nascitur austeritate nimia 
continendae utile alvo inter medicamina numeratur. 

66 Quartum curriculum publicis epulis optinuere a divo 
lulio — is enim primas auctoritatem iis dedit, ut 
epistulis eius apparet — Mamertina circa Messanam 
in Sicilia genita ; ex his Potitiana ^ ab auctore dicta 
illo cognomine, proxima Italiae laudantur praecipue. 
est in eadem Sicilia et Tauromenitanis honos lagoenis 
pro Mamertino plerumque subditis. 

67 Ex rehquis autem a supero mari Praetutiana ^ atque 
Anconae nascentia, et quae a palma una forte enata 
palmensia appellavere, in mediterraneo vero Caesena- 
tia ac Maecenatiana, in Veroniensi item Raetica 
Falernis tantum postlata a Vergiho, mox ab intimo 
sinu maris Hadriana, ab infero autem Latinieiisia, 

68 Graviscana, Statoniensia. Etruriae Luna pahiiam 
habet, Liguriae Genua. inter Pyrenaeum Alpesquc 
Massiha gemino sapore, quando et condiendis ahis 

1 Dalcc. coU. § 69 : Potulana. 

2 Backham coll. § 75 : Praetutia. 

« The Tuscan Sea. 
230 



BOOK XIV. VIII. 65 68 

fortunc. The adjaccnt vintages of the Calenian hills 
iised to be prefcrred to them, as werc thosc of Fundi 
whcre the vines are grown on trellises or traincd up 
small trees, and others from the vicinity of Rome, 
thosc of Castcl dcl \'olturno and Pipcrno. As for the 
winc produced at Segni, it counts as a mcdicine, bcing 
useful as a stomachic astringcnt owing to its exccssive 
dryness. 

For public banquets the fourth placc in the race Fourthciois 
has becn hcld from thc time of his late Majesty "^"***' 
.TuUus Cacsar onward — for he was the first person to 
bring thcm into favour, as appears from his letters — 
to the Mamertine vintages grown in the neighbour- 
hood of Messina in Sicily ; of these the Potitian, so 
called after the name of its original grower, is par- 
ticularly highly spokcn of — it grows in the part of 
Sicily nearest to Italy. In Sicily also is grown the 
Taormina vintage, which when bottled is constantly 
passed off for Mamertinc. 

Among the rcmaining wines there are, in the 
vicinity ofthe AdriaticandIonianSea,the Praetutian 
and those grown at Ancona and the vines callcd 
sprig-vincs, becausc they were all struck from a 
single chance sprig ; and in the intcrior the wines of 
Cezena and those called by the name of Maecenas ; 
also in the district of Verona the wines of Tyrol, 
reckoned by Virgil infcrior only to Falernian ; and GeorgicsU. 
next at the top of the Adriatic the wincs of Adria, "^^' 
and from the Lower Sea*^ the Latiniensian, Graviscan 
and Statonicnsian. Luna carries off the palm of 
Tuscany and Genoa that of Liguria. Betwecn the 
Pyrenees and the Alps Marseilles has wine of two 
flavours, as itproduccs aricher varietv, the localname 
for which is the * juicy ' brand, which is also used for 

231 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

pinguius gignit quod vocat sucosum. Baeterrarum 
intra Gallias consistit auctoritas ; de reliquis in 
Narbonensi genitis adseverare non est, quoniam 
officinam eius rei fecere tinguentes fumo, utinamque 
non et herbis ac medicaminibus noxiis : quippe etiam 
aloe mercator saporem coloremque adulterat. 

69 Verum et longinquiora Italiae ab Ausonio mari non 
carent gloria, Tarentina et Servitiana et Consentiae 
genita et Tempsae ac Bari ac ^ Lucana quae ante- 
cedunt ^ Thurinis. omnium vero eorum maxime 
illustrata Messalae Potiti salute Lagarina, non procul 
Grumento nascentia. Campania nuper excitavit 
novis nominibus auctoritatem sive cura sive casu, ad 
quartum a Neapoli lapidem Trebellicis, iuxta Capuam 
Caulinis, et in suo agro Trebulanis, alioqui semper inter 

70 plebeia, et Trifohnis gloriata. nam Pompeianis 
summum decem annorum incrementum est, nihil 
senecta conferente ; dolore etiam capitum in sextam 
horam diei sequentis infesta deprehenduntur. quibus 
exemplis, nisi fallor, manifestum est patriam ter- 
ramque refcrre, non uvam, et supervacuam generum 
consectationem in numerum, cum eadem vitis aliud 

1 ac Bari ac Detlejsen (Calabriae MayhoJJ) : ac Babbiae. 

2 Detlejsen : Lucanaqiie anteccdentibus. 

232 



BOOK XIV. VIII. 68 70 

seasoning other wines. The importance of the wine 
of Beziers does not cxtend outside the GalHc })ro- 
vinces ; and about the rest of the wines grown in the 
Province of Narbonne no positive statement can be 
made, inasmuch as the dealcrs have set up a regular 
factory for the puq:)ose and colour them by means of 
smoke, and I regret to '^ay also by employing noxious 
hcrbs and drugs — inasmuch as a dealer actually uses 
aloe for adulterating the flavour and the colour of 
his wines. 

But also the wincs of Italy grown further away from 
the Ausonian Sea are not without note, those of 
Taranto and San Scvcrino, and those grown at 
Cosenza and Tempsa and Bari, and the Lucanian 
vintages, which hold a better place than those of 
Tliurii. But the wincs of Lagara, grown not far from 
Grumentum, are the most famous of them all, on 
the ground of their having restored the health of 
Messala Potitius. Campania, whethcr by means of 
carcful cultivation or by accident, has lately excited 
considcration by some new names — boasting the 
TrebeUian vintage four miles from Naples, the Cau- 
line close to Capua, and the Trebulan when grown in 
the district of the samc name (though otherwise it is 
ahvays classed as a common wine), and the TrifoHne. 
As for the wines of Pompci, their topmost improve- 
ment is a matter of ten years, and they gain nothing 
from age ; also they are detected as unwholesome 
because of a headache which lasts till noon on the 
following day. These instances,if I amnot mistakcn, 
go to show that it is the country and the soil that 
matter, not the grape, and that it is supcrfluous 
to go on with a long enumeration of kinds, sincc 
the same vine has a diiferent value in difFercnt 



PLINY: NATURAL IIISTORY 

7J aliis in locis poUeat. Hispaniarum Laeetana copia 
nobilitantur, elegantia vero Tarraconensia atque 
Lauronensia et Baliarica ex insulis conferuntur Italiae 
primis. nec ignoro multa praetermissa plerosque 
existimaturos, quando suum cuique placet et quo- 

72 cumque eatur, fabula eadem reperitur, divi Augusti 
iudiciorum ac palati peritissimum e libertis censuram 
vini in epulas eius facientem dixisse hospiti de indi- 
gena vino novum quidem sibi gustum esse eum atque 
non ex nobilibus, sed Caesarem non aliud poturum. 
nec negaverim et alia digna esse fama, sed de quibus 
consensus aevi iudicaverit haec sunt. 

73 IX. Nunc simili modo transmarina dicemus. in 
summa gloria post Homerica illa de quibus supra 
diximus fuere Thasium Chiumque, ex Chio quod 
Ariusium vocant. his addidit Lesbium Erasistrati 
maximi medici auctoritas, circiter ccccl anno urbis 
Romae. nunc gratia ante omnia est Clazomenio, 

74 postquam parcius mari condiunt. Lesbium sponte 

« 301 B.c. 
234 



BOOK XIV. VIII. 70 i\. 74 

places. In the Spanish provinccs ihc vinevards of 
Laeetaniini are famous for the quantity of winc 
they produce, while for choice quahty the vineyards 
of Tarragon and Lauron and those of the Balearics 
among the islands challenge comparison with the 
first vintages of Italy. And I am not unaware that 
most people will think that many have been passed 
over. inasmuch as everybody has his own favourite, 
and wherever one may go one finds the same story 
current — how that one of the freedmen of his late 
Majesty Augustus, who was the most skilful among 
them for his judgcment and palate, in tasting wine 
for the emperor's table passed this remark to the 
master of the house where Augustus was \isiting 
in regard to a wine of the district : ' The flavour of 
this wine is new to me, and it is not of a high class, 
but all the same I prophesy that the emperor will 
not drink any other.' I would not deny that other 
wines also dcserve a high reputation, but the ones 
that I have enumerated are those on which the 
general agreement of the ages will be found to 
have pronounced judgement. 

IX. \Ve will now in a similar manner specify the Fordgn 
wines of countries overseas. The wines held in dassified. 
highest esteem subsequent to the great vintages of 
the Homeric age about which we have spokcn above §§ 53 /ozz. 
were those of Thasos and Chios, and of the latter thc 
wine called Ariusian. To these the authority of the 
eminent physician Erasistratus, about four hundred 
and fifty years ** after the foundation of Rome, 
added Lesbian. At the present time the most 
popular of all is the wine of Clazomenae. now that 
they have begun to flavour it more sparingly with 
sea-water. The wine of Lesbos by dint of its own 

235 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

suae naturae mare sapit; nec Tmoliti per se gratia 
ut vino, sed cuius dulci admixto reliquorum duritia 
suavitatem accipiat, simul et aetatem, quoniam 
vetustiora protinus videntur. ab his dignatio est 
Sicyonio, Cyprio, Telmesico, Tripolitico, Berytio, 
Tyrio, Sebennytico. in Aegypto hoc nascitur tribus 
generibus uvarum ibi nobiUbus,^ Thasio, aethalo, 

75 peuce. post haec auctoritas Hippodamantio, Mystico, 
cantharitae, protropo Cnidio, Catacecaumenitae, 
Petritae, Myconio. nam Mesogiten capitis dolores 
facere conpertum est, nec Ephesium salubre esse, 
quoniam mari et defruto condiatur. Apamenum 
mulso praecipue convenire dicitur, sicut Praetutia- 
num 2 in Italia— est enim et haec proprietas generum ; 

76 dulcia utique inter se non congruunt. exolevit et pro- 
tagion, quod Italicis proximum fecerant Asclepiadis 
scholae. Apollodorus medicus in volumine quo 
suasit Ptolemaeo regi quae vina biberet Itahcis 
etiam tum ignotis laudavit in Ponto Nasperceniten, 
mox Oreticum, Oeneaten, Leucadium, Ambracioten 
et quod cunctis praetuHt Peparethium, sed minoris 
famae esse dixit quoniam ante sex annos non placeret. 

^ nobilibus ? Mayhoff : nobilis (nobilissimis edd.). 
2 Backham coll. 67 : Praetuitium. 
236 



BOOK XIV. IV. 74-76 

nature smacks of the sea ; and that of Mount Tmolus 
also is not esteemed as a wine to drink neat, but 
because being a sweet wine an admixture of it gives 
sweetness to the dry quality of the remaining vin- 
tages, at the same time also giving them age, as it 
at once makes them seem more mature. Next after 
these in esteem are the wines of Sicyon, Cyprus, 
Telmesus, TripoH, Beyrout, Tyre and Sebennys. 
This last is grown in Egypt, being made frora three 
famous kinds of grapes that grow there, the Thasian, 
the soot-grape and the pine-tree grape. Ranking 
after these are the wines of Hippodamas, of Mystus 
and of the canthareos vine, the protropum*^ of Cnidos, 
and the wines of the volcanic region in Mysia, 
of Petra and of Myconos. As for the vintage of 
Mesogis, it has been found to cause headache, and 
that of Ephesus has also proved to be unwholesome, 
because sea-v/ater and boiled must are employed to 
season it. Apamea wine is said to be particularly 
suitable for making mead, and so Hkewise is the 
Praetutian in Italy — for this too is a property peculiar 
to certain kinds of wine : two sweet wines do not 
generally go well together. Protagion also has 
quite gone out, a wine which the medical profession 
had put next to those of Italy. The physician 
Apollodorus in his pamphlet advising King Ptolemy 
what wines to drink — the ItaHan vintages being 
even then unknown — praised the wine of Nas- 
percene in Pontus, and next to it the Oretic, 
Oeneate, Leucadian, Ambraciote and Peparethian 
vintages — the last he put before all the rest, but 
said it was less well thought of on account of its 
not being fit to drink before it was six years old. 
" A sweet wine drawn off before treading {TpaTTcj) the grapea. 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

77 X. Hactenus bonitas vini nationibus debetur. 
apud Graecos iure ^ clarissimum nomen accepit quod 
appellaverunt bion, ad plurimos valitudinum usus 
excogitatum, ut docebimus in parte medicinae. fit 
autem hoc modo: uvae paulum ante maturitatem 
decerptae siccantur acri sole, ter die versatae per tri- 
duum, quarto exprimuntur, dein in cadis sole in- 

78 veterantur. Coi marinam aquam largiorem miscent 
a servi furto origine orta sic mensuram explentis, 
idque translatum in album miLstum leucocoum appel- 
latur. in aliis autem gentibus simili modo factum 
tethalassomenon vocant, thalassiten autem vasis 
musti deiectis in mare, quo genere praecox fit 

79 vetustas. nec non apud nos quoque Coum vinum 
ex Italico faciendi rationem Cato demonstravit, super 
cetera in sole quadriennio ^ maturandum praecipiens. 
Rhodium Coo simile est, Phorineum salsius Coo. 
omnia transmarina vina septem annis ad vetustatem 
mediam pervenire existimantur. 

80 XI. V^inum omne dulce minus odoratum, quo 
tenuius eo odoratius. colores vinis quattuor albus, 
fulvus, sanguineus, niger. psithium et melampsithium 
passi genera sunt suo sapore, non vini, ScybeHtes 
vero mulsi in Galatia nascens, et Aluntium in 

^ V.l. curae : cura Hardouin. 
2 quadriduo aut triduo edd. 



" Possibly the text should be altered to give ' four ' or 
* three daya.' 

238 



BOOK XIV. X. 77-xi. 80 

X. Up to this point the goodness of a wine is ^ medMnai 
credited to the countries of its growth. Among the 
Greeks, the wine they have called ' Ufe ' has justly 

won a very distinguished name, having been de- 

veloped for the treatment of a great many maladies, 

as we shall show in the part of our work deaUng xxiii. 53. 

with medicine. The process of making it is this : 

the grapes are picked a Httle before they are ripe 

and are dried in a fierce sun, being turned three 

times a day for three days, and on the fourth day 

they are put through the press and then left in 

casks to mature in the sun. The people of Cos 

mix in a rather large quantity of sea-water — a 

custom arising from the peculation of a slave who 

used this method to fill up the due measure, and 

this mixture is poured into white must, producing 

what is called in Greek ' white Coan.' In other 

countries a blend made in a similar way is called 

' sea-flavoured wine,' and * sea-treated ' when the 

vessels containing the must have been thrown into 

the sea ; this is a kind of wine that matures young. 

Also with us as well Cato exhibited a method of «.«. cxii. 

making Coan ^nne out of Itahan, his most important 

instruction being that it must be left in the sun for 

four years * to ripen. The Rhodes vintage resembles 

that of Cos, but the Phorinean is salter. AU the 

overseas wines are thought to take seven years to 

reach the middle stage of maturity. 

XI. AU sweet wine has less aroma ; the thinner a Aromaand 
wine is the more aroma it has. Wines are of four ZiZl. 
colours, white, brown, blood-red and black. Psithian 

and black psithian are kinds of raisin-wine with a Raisin-wine. 
pecuHar flavour which is not that of wine ; ScybeHtes 
is a kind of must produced in Galatia, and Aluntium 

239 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

Sicilia. nam siraeum, quod alii hepsema, nostri sapam 
appellant, ingenii, non natm-ae opiis est musto usque 
ad tertiam mensurae decocto ; quod ubi factum ad 
dimidiam est, defrutum vocatur. omnia in adulterium 
mellis excogitata ; sed priora uva terraque constant. 

81 passmn a Cretico ^ Cilicium probatur et Africum. 
id 2 in Italia finitimisque provinciis fieri certum est ex 
uva quam Graeci psithiam vocant, nos apianam, 
item scripulam, diutius uvis ^ in vite sole adustis aut 
ferventi oleo.^ quidam ex quacumque dulci, dum 
praecocta, alba, faciunt siccantes sole donec paulo 
amphus dimidium pondus supersit, tunsasque leniter 

82 exprimunt. dein quantum expressere adiciunt vina- 
ceis aquae puteanae, ut et secundarium passum 
faciant. diligentiores eodem modo siccatis acinos 
eximunt ac sine sarmentis madefactos vino excellenti 
donec intumescant premunt — et hoc genus ante 
cetera laudant ; ac simili modo aqua addita secun- 
darium faciunt. 

83 Medium inter dulcia vinumque est quod Graeci 
aigleucos vocant, hoc est semper mustum. id 
evenit cura, quoniam fervere prohibetur — sic appel- 
lant musti in vina transitum. ergo mergunt e hicii 

1 Hermolaus e Diosc. : Graeco. 
^ Detlefsen : et. 
3 uvis add. Sillig. 
* r.Z. dolio. 



" Apiatia, lit. ' beloved by bees '; perhaps also the English 
(and Italian) name, though derived from ' musk,' a word of 
Arabic origin, was popularly associated with musca, ' fly.' 

* I.e. ferment or effervesce. 

240 



BOOK XIV. XI. 80-83 

another, produced in Sicily. Siraeum, by some called 
hepsema and in our country sapa, is a product of art, 
not of nature, made by boiHng down must to a third 
of its quantity ; must boiled down to only one-half 
is called defrutum. All these wines have been de- 
vised for adulterating with honey ; but the wines 
previously mentioned are the product of the grape 
and of the soil. Next after the raisin-wine of Cretc 
those of CiHcia and of Africa are held in esteem. 
Raisin-wine is known to be made in Italy and in the 
neighbouring provinces from the grape called by the 
Greeks psithia and by us * muscatel,' '^ and also 
scripula, the grapes being left on the vine longer 
than usual to ripen in the sun, or else being ripened 
in boiHng oil. Some people make this wine from any 
sweet white grape that ripens early, drying them in 
the sun tiU Httle more than half their weight remains, 
and then they beat them and gently press out the 
juice. Afterwards they add to the skins the same 
quantity of well-water as they have pressed out juice, 
so as also to make raisin-wine of second quaHty. The 
more careful makers, after drying the bunches in the 
same manner, pick off the berries and soak them 
without their stalks in wine of good quality tiU they 
sweH, and then press them — and this kind of wine is 
the most highly praised of any ; and then they repeat 
the process, adding more water, and make a wine of 
second quaHty. 

Between the sirops and real wine is the Hquor that ^"^^- 
the Greeks caH aigleucos — this is our ' permanent 
must.' Care is needed for its production, as it must 
not be aHowed to ' boil ' ^ — that is the word they use to 
denote the passage of must into wine. Consequently, ^weet mnea. 
as soon as the must is taken from the vat and put into 

241 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

protinus in aqua cados donec bruma transeat et 
consuetudo fiat algendi. est etiamnum aliud genus 
passi, quod vocat dulce Narbonensis provincia et in 
ea maxime Vocontii. adservatur eius gratia uva 

84 diutius in vite pediculo intorto. ab aliis ipse palmes 
iuciditur ad medullam, ab aliis uva torretur in tegulis, 
omnia ex helvennaca vite. his adiciunt aliqui quod 
vocant diachyton uvis in sole siccatis loco cluso per 
dies septem in cratibus totidem pedes a terra alte, 
noctibus ab umore defensis, octavo die calcatis ; ita 

85 fieri optimi odoris saporisque. e dulci genere est et 
melitites ; distat a mulso quod fit e musto cum quin- 
que congiis ; austeri musti congio mellis et salis 
cyatho subfervefactis, austerum. sed inter haec 
genera poni debet et protropum : ita appellatur a 
quibusdam mustum sponte defluens antequam calcen- 
tur uvae. hoc protinus diffusum in lagoenis suis 
defervere passi, postea in sole xl diebus torrent 
aestatis secutae, ipso canis ortu. 

86 XII. NonpossuntiuredicivinaquaeGraecideuteria 
appellant, Cato et nos loram, maceratis aqua vinaceis, 



» See § 75, note. 
242 



BOOK XIV. M. 83-xii. 86 

casks, they plunge the casks in water till midwinter 
passes and re^ular cold weather sets in. There is 
moreover anotlier kind of raisin-wine known in the 
Province of Xarbonne, and there particularly to the 
\'ocontii, under the name of ' sweet wine.' For the 
purpose of this they keep the grape hanging on the 
vine for an exceptional time, with the foot-stalk 
twisted. Some make an incision in the actual shoot 
as far as the pith and others leave the grapes to dry 
on tiled roofs, the grapes in all cases being those from 
the helvennaca vine. To these some add a wine called 
in Greek ' strained wine,' to make which the grapes 
are dried in the sun for seven days raised seven feet 
from the ground on hurdles, in an enclosed place 
where at night they are protected from damp ; on 
the eighth day they are trodden out, and this process 
produces a wine of extremely good bouquet and 
tiavour. Another wine of the sweet class is called 
honey-wine ; it dilfers from mead because it is made 
from must, in the proportion of thirty pints of must 
of a dry quaUty to six pints of honey and a cup of 
salt, this mixture being brought just to the boil ; 
this produces a dry-flavoured liquor. But among 
these vnrieties ought also to be placed the hquor 
called in Greek 'protropiim ," the name given by 
some people to must that flows down of its own 
accord before the grapes are trodden. This as 
soon as it flows is put into special flagons and allowed 
to ferment, and afterwards left to dry for forty days 
of the summer that foUows, just at the rise of the 
Dog-star. 

XII. The liquors made from grape-skins soaked in A/ter-mnes. 
water, called by the Greeks seconds and by Cato and 
ourselves after-wine, cannot rightly be styled wines, 

243 



PLINl^: NATURAL HISTORY 

sed tamen inter vina operaria numerantur. tria 
eorum genera : decuma parte aquae addita quam 
quae musti expressa sit, et ita nocte ac die made- 
factis vinaceis rursusque prelo subiectis ; alterum, 
quomodo Graeci factitavere, tertia parte eius quod 
expressum sit addita aquae expressoque decocto ad 
tertias partes; tertium est faecibus vini expressum, 
quod faecatum Cato appellat : nullum ex his plus 
quam annui usus. 

87 XIII. Verum inter haec subit mentem, cum sint 
genera nobilia quae proprie vini intellegi possint 
Lxxx fere in toto orbe, duas partes ex hoc numero 
Italiae esse, longe propterea ^ ante cunctas terras ; 
et hinc deinde altius cura serpit, non a primordio 
hanc gratiam fuisse, auctoritatem post dc urbis 

88 annum coepisse. XIV. Romulum lacte, non vino, 
Hbasse indicio sunt sacra ab eo instituta quae hodie 
custodiunt morem. Numae regis Postumia lex est : 
Fino rogum ne respargito, quod sanxisse illum propter 
inopiam rei nemo dubitet. eadem lege ex inputata 

^ V.l. praeterea longe. 
244 



BOOK XIV. XII. 86 XIV. 88 

but nevertheless are counted among the wines of the 
working classes. They are of three kinds : one is 
made by adding to the skins water to the amount of a 
tenth of the quantity of must that has been pressed 
out, and so leaving the skins to soak for twenty-four 
hours and then again putting them under the press ; 
another, by a method of manufacture that has been 
commonly employed by the Greeks, i.e. by adding 
water to the amount of a third of the juice that has 
been pressed out, and after submitting the pulp to 
pressure, boiHng it down to one-third of its original 
quantity ; while the third kind is pressed out of 
the wine-lees — Cato's name for this is * lees-wine.' 
None of these hquors is drinkable if kept more than a 
year. 

XIII. Among these topics, however, it occurs to winesof 
me that while there are in the whole world about '^^Jfy' 
eighty notable kinds of hquor that can properly be ^««^i''" a"'* 
understood as coming under the term ' wine,' two- 
thirds of this number belong to Italy, which stands 
far in front of all the countries in the world on that 
account ; and further investigation going into this 
subject more deeply indicates that this popularity 
does not date back from the earhest times, but 
that the importance of the Itahan wines only 
bcgan from the city's six hundredth year. XIV. 154 b.c. 
Romulus used milk and not wine for hbations, as 
is provcd by the rehgious rites estabhshed by him Reguiations 
which preserve the custom at the present day. The ^SiTv^in^ 
Postumian Law of King Numa runs : Thou shalt notf'^"^^^' 
sprinkle the funeral pyre rvith wine — a law to which he 
gave his sanction on account of the scarcity of the 
commodity in question, as nobody can doubt. By 
the same law he made it illegal to offer hbations to the 

245 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

vite libari vina dis nefas statuit, ratione excogitata 
ut putare cogerentur alias aratores et pigri circa 
pericula arbusti. M. \^irro auctor est Mezentium 
Etruriae regem auxilium Rutulis contra Latinos 
tulisse vini mercede quod tum in Latino agro fuisset. 

89 non licebat id feminis Romae bibere. invenimus 
inter exempla Egnati Maetenni uxorem, quod 
vinimi bibisset e dolio, interfectam fusti a marito, 
eumque caedis a Romulo absolutum. Fabius Pictor 
in annalibus suis scripsit matronam, quod loculos in 
quibus erant claves cellae vinariae resigna^-isset, a 

90 suis inedia mori coactam, Cato ideo propinquos 
feminis osculum dare ut scirent an temetum olerent ; 
hoc tum nomen vino erat, unde et temulentia 
appellata. Cn. Domitius iudex pronuntiavit mu- 
lierem videri plus vini bibisse quam valitudinis causa 
viro insciente, et dote multavit. diuque eius rei 

91 magna parsimonia fuit. L. Papirius imperator 
adversus Samnites dimicaturus votum fecit, si vi- 
cisset, lovi pocillum vini. denique inter dona 
sextarios lactis ^ datos invenimus, nusquam vini. 
idem Cato cum in Hispaniam navigaret, unde cum 
triumpho rediit, non aliud vinum bibit quam remiges, 

* lactis add. edd. 



" A plantation of trees on which vines were trained. 

* Lucius Papirius Cursor in 320 b.c. retrieved the dis- 
aster of the preceding year when the Roman army waa 
entrapped at the Caudine Forks. 

« Over the Celtiberi, 195 b.c. 

246 



BOOK XIV. XIV. 88-91 

gods with wine produccd from a vine that had not 
been pruned, this being a plan devised for the purpose 
of compelling people who were mainly engaged in 
agriculture, and were slack about the dangers beset- 
ting a plantation,*^ not to neglect pruning. We learn 
from Marcus Varro that Mezentius, king of Etruria, 
gave help to the RutuH against the Latins at the 
price of receiving all the wine then in the territory of 
Latium. At Rome women were not allowed to drink 
wine. Among various instances we find that the 
wife of Kgnatius \Lietennus was clubbed to death by 
lier husband for drinking wine from the vat, and that 
Romulus acquitted him on the charge of murder. 
Fabius Pictor has written in his Annals that a matron 
was starved to death by her relatives for having 
broken open the casket containing the keys of the 
wine-cellar ; and Cato says that the reason why 
women are kissed by their male relations is to know 
whether they smell of ' tipple ' — that was then the 
word denoting wine, and also the word ' tipsy ' comes 
from it. Judge Gnaeus Domitius once gave a ver- 
dict that a certain woman appeared to have drunk 
more wine that was required for the sake of her health 
without her husband's knowledge, and he fined her 
the amount of her dowry. And great economy in 
the use of this commodity prevailed for a long time. 
General Lucius Papirius* before his decisive action 
against the Samnites vowed to give a small goblet of 
wine to Jupiter if he were victorious. Lastly among 
votive offerings we find mention of gifts of pints of 
milk but nowhere of wine. Moreover Cato, when 
saiHng on his expedition to Spain, whence he returned 
with a triumph,'' drank no other wine than what was 
drunk by the crew of his galley, so Httle did he 

247 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

in tantum dissimilis istis qui etiam convivis alia quara 
sibimet ipsis ministrant aut procedente mensa 
subiciunt. 

92 XV. Lautissima apud priscos vina erant myrrhae 
odore condita, ut apparet in Plauti fabulis, quamquam 
in ea quae Persa inscribitur ^ et calamum addi iubet. 
ideo quidam aromatite delectatos maxime credunt ; 
sed Fabius Dossennus his versibus decernit ; 

Mittebam vinum pulchrum, murrinam, 

et in Acharistione : 

Panem et polentam, vinum murrinam. 

93 Scaevolam quoque et L. Aelium et Ateium Capi- 
tonem in eadem sententia fuisse video, quoniam in 
Pseudolo sit : 

Quod si opus est ut dulce promat indidem, ecquid 

habet ? — Rogas ? 
Murrinam, passum, defrutum, mella — 

quibus apparet non inter vina modo murriiiam, sed 
inter dulcia quoque nominatum. 

94 XVI. Apothecas fuisse et diffundi solita vina anno 
Dcxxxiii urbis apparet indubitato Opimiani vini 
argumento, iam intellegente suum bonum Itaha. 
nondum tamen ista genera in claritate erant ; 
itaque omnia tunc genita unum habent consulis 

95 nomen. sic quoque postea diu transmarina in 

1 Sch(3U: Plauti fabula quae Persa inseribitur quamquam 



" In Persa 87-88 there ia a reoipe for compounding midsum 
(not for flavouring wine) which gives calamua as one ingredient, 
but there is no mention of myrrh. 

* Phiutus, Pseud. 740-741. 

* Opimius. 
248 



BOOK XIV. XIV. 91-XV1. 95 

resemble the gentlemen who give even their guests 
other wines than those served to themselves, or else 
substitule inferior wines as the meal progresses. 

XV. The finest wines in early days were those Spic^d mnt. 
spiced with scent of myrrh, as appears in the plays 
of Plautus, altliough in the one entitled The Persian 
he recommends the addition of sweet-reed also.<* 
Consequently some think that in old times people 
were extremely fond of scented wine ; but Fabius 
Dossennus decides the point in these verses : 

I sent them a fine wine, one spiced with myrrh, 

and in his Acharistio : 

Bread and pearl-barley and wine spiced with myrrh. 

I also observe that Scaevola and Lucius Aelius and 
Ateius Capito were of the same opinion, inasmuch 
as we find in Pseudolus ^ : 

A. But if he has to bring out a sweet wine 
From that same cellar, has he got one ? 

B. Got one ? 
Myrrh-wine and raisin-wine and boiled-down must 
And honey — 

which shows that myrrh-wine was counted not only 
among wines but also among sirops. 

X\'l. The existence of the Opimian wine — 1\ a\y naiianand 
already understanding the blessing she enjoyed — l^S^ 
aifords an undoubted proof that wine-lofts existed 
there and it was usual for wine to be racked off 
in the 633rd year of the city. Nevertheless the 21 b.c, 
vintages referred to were not yet celebrated ; and 
accordingly all the wines grown in that year bear 
the name of the consul only.*^ Similarly also after- 
wards wines imported from oversea held the field for 

240 

VOL. IV. I ^^ 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

auctoritate fuerunt et ad avos usque nostros, quin et 
Falerno iam reperto, sicut apparet ex illo comici ^ 
versu : 

Quinque Thasi vini depromam, bina Falerni. 

P. Licinius Crassus L. lulius Caesar censores anno 
urbis conditae dclxv edixerunt, ne quis vinum Graecum 
Aminniumque pluris ^ octonis aeris si?igula quadrantalia 
venderet : haec enim verba sunt. tanta vero Graeco 
vino gratia erat ut singulae potiones in convictu 

96 darentur. XVII. Quibus vinis auctoritas fuerit sua 
iuventa,^ M. Varro his verbis tradit : L. Lucullus 
puer apud patrem numquam lautum convivium vidit in 
quo plus semel Graecum vinum daretur : ipse cum rediit 
ex Asia, milia cadum congiarium divisit amplius cenium. 
C. Sentius, quem praetorem vidimus, Chium vinum suam 
domum inlatum dicebat tum primum cum sihi cardiaco 
medicus dedisset : Hortensius super x cadum heredi reli- 

97 quit. hactenus Varro. quid ? non et Caesar dictator 
triumphi sui cena vini Falerni amphoras, Chii cados 
in convivia distribuit? idem Hispaniensi triumpho 
Chium et Falernum dedit, epulo vero in tertio con- 
sulatu suo Falernum, Chium, Lesbium, Mamertinum, 
quo tempore primum quattuor genera vini adposita 

1 V.l. comico. 

2 pluris add. Rackham. 

^ Mayhoff : sua in mensa. 

250 



BOOK XIV. XVI. 95-x\'ii. 97 

a long time and right down to our grandfathers' day, 
indced even after Falernian had already been dis- 
covered, as appears from the hne of the comedy 
play^\Tight " : 

rU broach five casks of Thasian, two of Faler- 
nian. 

In the year 665 from the foundation of the city the 89 b.o. 
censors PubUus Licinius Crassus and Lucius Juhus 
Caesar promulgated an edict prohibiting ' the sale 
of Greek and Aminnian wine at a higher price than 
8 asses for 6 gallons ' — those being the actual words 
of the edict. But Greek wine was so highly esteemed 
that only one cup was given to each guest at a ban- 
quet. X\'II. Marcus Varro records in the following imported 
words the wines that ranked highest in his own ^^*'* "^'^^' 
younger days : ' When Lucius Lucullus was a boy he 
never saw a full-dress banquet in his father's house at 
which Greek wine was given more than once, but 
when he himself came back from Asia he distributed 80 b.c. 
more than 100,000 jars in largess ; also Gaius Sentius, 
who was praetor in our time, used to say that the 
first time that Chian wine entered his house was 
when the doctor had prescribed it for him for heart- 
burn ; but Hortensius left over ten thousand jarSoOB.c. 
to his next-of-kin.' So far Varro. x\nd besides, did 
not Caesar also, when dictator, at the banquet in 
celebration of his triumph apportion to each table a 40 b.c. 
flagon of Falernian and a jar of Chian ? Caesar also 
gave Chian and Falernian at his triumph over Spain, eOB.c. 
but at a banquet during his third consulship he 46 b.o. 
provided Falernian, Chian, Lesbian and Mamertine : 
this is known to be the first occasion on which four 

« Unknown. 

251 



PLINY; NATURAL HISTORY 

constat. postea ergo reliqua omnia in nobilitatem 
venere et circiter dcc m-bis annmn. 

98 XVIII. Itaque non miror innumerabilia paene 
genera ficticii reperta multis ante saeculis, quae nunc 
dicemus, omnia ad medicinae usum pertinentia. 
omphacium quo modo fieret propter unguenta dixi- 
mus priore libro. fit e labrusca, hoc est vite silvestri, 
quod vocatur oenanthinum, floris eius Hbris duabus 
in musti cado maceratis ; post dies xxx mutantur. 
praeter hoc radix labruscae et acini coria perficiunt. 

99 hi paulo post quam defloruere singulare remedium 
habent ad refrigerandos in morbis corporum ardores, 
gelidissima, ut ferunt, natura. pars eorum aestu 
moritur prius quam reUqua, qui solstitiales dicuntur ; 
universi numquam maturescunt, et si prius quam tota 
marcescat uva incocta detur cibo gaUinaceo generi, 
fastidium gignit uvas adpetendi. 

100 XIX. Ficticiorum primum (quod vocant adynamon) 
fit ex ipso vino ^ hoc modo : albi musti sextarii xx 
aquae dimidium fervent donec excoquatur aquae 
mensura. aUi marinae sextarios x, tantundem 
pluviae in sole xl diebus torrent. dant aegris quibus 
vini noxiam timent. 

^ fit . . . vino hic Warmington : ante quod vocant. 



* If the text is right, Pliny must mean that vintages 
other than Chian and Falernian beeame famous after the 
latter did. 

252 



BOOK XIV. XVII. 97-xix. loo 

kinds of wine were served. It follows that all the 
rest of the vintages came into fame afterwards, and 
aboiit 54 B.C." 

XVIII. I am not surprised therefore that many Arti/iciai 
centuries ago ahnost innumerable kinds of artificial "^""- 
wine have been invented, which we will now specify, 

all of them being used for medicinal purposes. In 
an earher volume we stated the method of making xii. i30. 
omphacium, which is used for unguents. What is 
called vine-flower wine is made from the claret vine, 
that is the wild vine, by steeping two pounds of the 
flowers of this plant in a jar of must ; 30 days after- 
wards they are changed. Beside this the root and 
the grape-skins of the claret-vine are used indressing 
leather. These grape-skins, a Uttle after the blossom 
has gone oif, provide a remarkable specific for coohng 
attacks of fevcrish heat in cases of disease, being 
said to be of an extremely cold nature. A portion 
of these grapes die off from the heat before the 
rest — these are called midsummer grapes ; the 
whole of them never come to maturity, and if a 
bunch in an unripe state before it completely withers 
is fed to poultry it produces in them a distaste 
for steahng grapes. 

XIX. The first of the artificial wines, which is called Manufacture 
weak wine, is made from real wine in the following ^^^JJ"* 
manner: ten quarts of white must and half that 
quantity of water are kept boihng till a considerable 
amount of the water is boiled away. Other people 

put in five quarts of sea-water and the same amount 
of rain-water and leave the mixture in the sun for 
40 days to evaporate. This drink is given to 
invahds for whom it is feared that wine may be 
harmful. 

253 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

101 Proximum fit e milii semine maturi cum ipsa 
stipula libram quadrantem in congios duos musti 
macerato et post septimum mensem transfuso. ex 
loto arbore, frutice, herba dictum est ubi quaeque 
fierent. 

102 Fiunt et e pomis quae dicemus interpretationibus 
non nisi necessariis additis, primumque e palmis, quo 
Parthi, Indi utuntur et oriens totus, mitiorum quas 
vocant chydaeas modio in aquae congiis tribus 
macerato expressoque. sic fit et sycites e fico, quem 
alii pharnuprium, aHi trochin vocant ; aut si dulce 
esse non hbeat, pro aqua tantundem vinaciorum 
adicitur. e Cypria fico et acetum fit praecellens 

103 atque Alexandrino quoque meHus. vinum fit et e 
siUqua Syriaca et e piris malorumque omnibus 
generibus — sed e Punicis rhoiten vocant — et e 
cornis, mespiUs, sorbis, moris siccis, nucleis pineis ; 
hi musto madidi exprimuntur, superiora per se 

104 mitia. myrtiten Cato quemadmodum fieri docuerit 
mox paulo indicabimus. Graeci et aho modo: 
ramis teneris cum suis foUis in salso musto decoctis, 
tunsis, Ubram in tribus musti congiis defervefaciunt 
donec duo supersint. quod ita e silvestris m^Tti 

" 'P6a, ' pomegranate.' 
254 



BOOK XIV. XIX. 101-104 

The next kind of artificial wine is made fr om ^i^n^n^. 
ripe millet seed, by putting a pound and a quarter 
of the seed together with its straw to soak in 
1| gallons of must and after an inter^^al of seven 
months pouring off the Hquor. It has already ^nr. 
been stated where the varieties brewed from the ^'^*' *^' 
lotus-tree, lotus-shrub and herbaceous lotus are 
made. 

There are also wines, made from fruit, which we will ^cue mne 
specify, adding only the indispensable explanations : ^ fi^^^^^- 
First the wine madc from date-palms, which is used 
by the Parthians and Indians and by the whole of 
the East, a peck of the rather soft dates called in 
Greek * common dates ' being soaked in two and a 
quarter gallons of water and then pressed. Also fig 
syrup is made from figs by a similar process, other 
names for it being pharnuprium and trochis ; or if it 
is not wanted to be sweet, instead of water is added 
the same quantity of grape-skin juice. Also ex- 
cellent vinegar is made from the Cyprus fig, and an 
even better quaHty as well from that of Alexandria. 
Wine is also made from the Syrian carob, and from 
pears and all kinds of apples (one from pomegranates 
is called rhoites") as also from cornels, medlars, 
service berries, dried mulberries and fir-cones ; the 
last are soaked in must before being pressed, but 
the juice of the preceding fruits is sweet of itself. 
We will indicate a Httle later instructions given by 
Cato as to how to make myrtle-syrup. The Greeks xv.cxxv. 
also employ another method : they boil tender 
sprigs of myrtle with the leaves on in salted must, 
and after pounding them boil down one pound of 
the mixture in 2} gallons of must until only IJ 
gallons are left. The beverage made by the same 

255 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

bacis factum est myrtidanum vocatur, hoc manus 
tinguit. 

105 Ex his quae in hortis gignuntur fit vinum e radice 
asparagi, cunila, origano, api semine, habrotono, 
mentastro, ruta, nepeta, serpyllo, marruvio; mani- 
pulos binos condunt in cadum musti et sapae sexta- 

106 rium et aquae marinae heminam. e napis fit duum 
denarionmi pondere in sextarios binos musti addito, 
item e scillae radice, inter flores ex rosae foliis tusis 
in Unteolo in mustum coUatis cum pondusculo ut 
sidat, X L pondere in sextarios musti vicenos — vetant ^ 
ante tres menses vas aperiri — ,^ item nardo Gallico 
et aliud e silvestri. 

107 Aromatiten quoque invenio factitatum tantum non 
unguentorum compositione, primo ex murra, ut 
diximus, mox et nardo Celtico, calamo, aspalatho, 
oflEis in mustum aut dulce vinum deiectis, ahbi 
calamo, iunco, costo, nardo Syriaco, amomo, casia, 

108 cinnamo, croco, palma, asaro, simiUter in offa ; apud 
alios nardi etiam et malobathri sehbris in musti 
congios duos additis, quaUa nunc quoque fiunt pipere 
et meUe addito quae aUi condita, aUi piperata 
appeUant. invenitur et nectarites ex herba quam 
aUi helenion, aUi Medicam, aUi symphyton, aUi 

1 vetant MayhoJJ : nec, 

2 V.l. vase aperto. 

256 



BOOK XIV. XIX. 104 io8 

process from the berries of the wild myrtle is called 
myrtle wine ; this stains the hands. 

Among the plants grown in gardens, wine is made Vegetabie 
from the root of asparagus, and from cunila, wild- ""'^*' 
marjoram, parsley-seed, southernwood, wild mint, 
rue, catmint, wild thyme and horehound ; they put 
two handfuls of herb into a jar of must, together with 
a pint of boiled-down grape-juice and half a pint of 
sea-water. A wine is made from the navew turnip by 
adding two drams' weight of navew to a quart of 
must, and in the same way from the root of tlie 
squill ; and, among flowers, from poundcd rose-leaves 
wrapped in a hnen napkin and thrown into must with 
a small weight attached to make it sink, in the pro- 
portion of 50 drams of rose-leaves to 2i gallons of 
must — they say the jar must not be opened for three 
months — and also wine is made from Galhc nard and 
another from wild nard. 

I also find that aromatic wine is constantly made Herb uines. 
from almost exactly the same ingredients as perfumes 
— first from myrrh, as we have said, next also from 
Celtic nard, reed and aspalathus, cakes of which are 
thrown into must or sweet wine ; and in other places, 
from reed, sweet rush, costas, Syrian nard, cardamom, 
bark and flowers of cinnamon, saffron, dates and 
hazelwort, similarly made up in the form of a cake ; 
and among other people also from a mixture of 
half a pound of nard and cinnamon-leaf addcd to 
a gallon and a half of must ; and this is also how 
at the present day what some people call savoury 
wines and others peppered wines are made by 
adding pepper and honey. We also find mention 
of nectar-wine, extracted from the plant which 
some call sun-flower, others herb of Media, or 

257 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

Idaeam, alii Orestion, alii nectariam vocant, radice 
ponderis X L in sextarios sex musti addita similiter in 

109 linteo. ex ceteris herbis fit absinthites in xl sextariis 
musti absinthi Pontici Ubra decocta ad tertias partes 
vel scopis absinthi in vinum additis. simiHter hysso- 
pites e Cihcio hyssopo unciis tribus in duos congios 
musti coiectis aut tusis in unum.^ fiunt utraque et 

110 aUo modo, circa radices vitium sato. sic et helle- 
boriten fieri ex veratro nigro Cato docet: sic fit et 
scammonites, mira vitium natura saporem ahenum in 
se trahendi, quare et salicem redolent Patavinorum in 
palustribus vindemiae. sic et helleborum seritur in 
Thaso aut cucumis silvester aut scammonia, quod 
vinum phthorium vocatur, quoniam abortus facit. 

111 Fit et ex herbis quarum naturae suo loco dicentur : 
e stoechade et radice gentianae et tragorigano et 
dictamno, asaro, dauco, elehsphaco, panace, acoro, 
thymo, mandragora, iunco. vocarunt et scyzinum et 
itaeomeUn et lectisphagiten, quorum iam obhtterata 
ratio est. 

112 E fruticum vero genere cedri utriusque, cupressus, 
laurus, iunipiri, terebinthi, calami,^ lentisci, bacae 

^ V.l. vinum. 

* Hermolaus: calleu aut callini aut callia (in Gallia Har- 
douin). 

258 



BOOK XIV. XIX. io8 112 

symphyton or herb of Ida or Orestion or nectaria, 
the root of which is added in the proportion of 
50 drams to 6 pints of must, after being similarly 
wrapped in a hnen napkin. Of the remaining herbs, 
wormwood wine is made by boihng down a pound of 
Pontic wormwood in five gallons of must to one-third 
of its amount, or else by putting shoots of worm- 
wood into wine. Similarly hyssop -svine is made of 
Cihcian hyssop by throwing three ounces of hyssop 
into a gallon and a half of wine, or, if the hyssop is 
first pounded, into three-quarters of a gallon. Each 
of these wines may also be made in another way, by 
sowing the plant round the roots of vines. Also 
Cato shows how to make hellebore wine in the same r.r. oxv. 
way by using black hellebore ; also the same method 
is used in making scammony Mine, vines having a 
remarkable property of drawing into themselves the 
fiavour of some other plant, which explains why the 
grapes plucked in the marshes of Padua actually have 
a flavour of willow. Similarly in Thasos also helle- 
bore is planted among the vines,or else wild cucumber 
or scammony ; the wine so obtained is called by a 
Greek name denoting miscarriage, because it pro- 
duces abortion. 

Wine is also made from herbs the nature of which 
will be described in their proper place ; for instance 
from lavender and from gentian root and goat- 
marjoram and dittany, hazelwort, carrot, sage, all- 
heal, acorus, thyme, mandragora, and sweet rush. 
There is also mention of scyzinum and itaeomehs 
and lectisphagites, for which the recipe is now lost. 

From the shrub and tree class, use is made of both winesfrom 
kinds of cedar, the cypress, the laurel, the juniper, *'"*"**• 
the terebinth, the reed and the mastic-tree, the 

259 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

aut lignum recens in musto decocuntur ; item cham- 
elaeae et chamaepityis, chamaedryis Hgnum, eodem 
modo et ex flore, in congium musti decem X pondere 
addito. 

113 XX. Fit vinum et ex aqua acmelle tantum. quin- 
quennio ad hoc servari caelestem iubent. aliqui pru- 
dentiores statim ad tertias partes decocunt et tertiam 
veteris mellis adiciunt, deinde xl diebus a ^ canis ortu 
in sole habent. alii difFusa ita decumo die obturant. 
hoc vocatur hydromeli et vetustate saporem vini 
adsequitur, nusquam laudatius quam in Phrygia. 

114 XXI. quin et acetum melle temperabatur : adeo 
nihil intemptatimi vitae fuit. oxymeH hoc vocarunt, 
melHs decem Hbris, aceti veteris heminis quinque, 
saHs marini Hbra, aquae pluviae sextaris quinque 
suffervefactis deciens, mox elutriatis atque ita in- 

115 veteratis. omnia ab Themisone summo auctore 
damnata; et, Hercules, coactus usus eorum videri 
potest, nisi si quis naturae opus esse credit aroma- 
titen et ex unguentis vina conposita, aut ut biberentur 
genuisse eam frutices ! ista ^ sunt cognitu iucunda 
soHertia ^ humani animi * omnia exquirente.^ nihil 
quidem ex his anno durare, praeterquam quae 



^ a add. Sillig. 

" F./. ita. 

^ V.l. sollertiae. 

* Ita edd. (huiifenae nomine Mayhoff) : humane homine. 

^ Edd. : exquLrentis aut -ti. 



260 



uines. 



BOOK XIV. XIX. II2-XXI. 115 

berries or else the new wood being boiled down in 
must ; and similarly is used the wood of the dwarf 
oHve, the ground-pine, and the germander, and in 
the same way wine is also made from their blossom, 
by adding ten drams' weight of it to three quarters 
of a gallon of must. 

XX. A wine is also made of only water and honey. Honev 
For this it is recommended that rain-water should be ' " ° 
stored for five years. Some who are more expert 
use rain-water as soon as it has fallen, boiUng it down 
to a third of the quantity and adding one part of old 
honey to three parts of water, and then keeping the 
mixture in the sun for 40 days after the rising of the 
Dog-star. Others pour it offafter nine days and then 
cork it up. This beverage is called in Greek ' water- 
honey ' ; with age it attains the flavour of wine. It 
is nowhere rated more highly than in Phrygia. XXI. 
Also honey used even to be mixed with vinegar, so 
exhaustive have been men's experiments in Hving. 
This mixture was called in Greek * sour honey ' ; it 
was made with ten pounds of honey, 2J pints of old 
vinegar, one pound of sea salt and 5 pints of rain- 
water, heated to boihng ten times, after which the 
Hquor was drawn off and so kept tiH it was old. AH 
these wines are condemned by Themison, who is a 
very high authority ; and, I vow, the employment of 
them does appear to be a iour de force, unless any- 
body beHeves that aromatic wine and wines com- 
pounded of perfumes are products of nature, or 
that nature gave birth to shrubs in order for them 
to be used for drink ! Contrivances of this sort are 
amusing to learn of, owing to the ingenuity of the 
human mind that investigates everything. There 
can be no doubt that none of these wines wiH keep 

261 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

vetustate ipsa fieri diximiis, et plura ne tricenis 
quidem diebus, non erit dubium. 

116 XXII. Sunt et in vino prodigia. dicitur in 
Arcadia fieri quod fecunditatem feminis inportet, 
viris rabiem ; at in Achaia maxime circa Caryniam 
abigi partum vino, atque etiam si uvam edant gra- 

117 vidae, cum differentia in gustatu non sit. Troeze- 
nium vinum qui bibant negantur generare. Thasios 
duo genera vini diversa facere proditur, quo somnus 
conciHetur, alterum vero quo fugetur. apud eosdem 
vitis theriaca vocatur cuius et vinum et uva contra 
serpentimii ictus medetur, Hbanodes ^ turis odore, ex 
qua diis prolibant. e diverso aspendios damnata 
aris 2 ; ferunt eam nec ab alite uUa attingi. Thasiam 
uvam Aegyptus vocat apud se praedulcem quae 
solvit alvum ; est contra Lyciae quae solutam flrmat. 

118 Aegyptus et ecbolada habet abortus facientem. 

vina in apothecis canis ortu mutantur quaedam post- 

eaque restituuntur sibi ; sic et mari navigato, cuius 

iactatus his quae duraverint tantum vetustatis adicere 

sentitm* quantum habuerint. 

^ Mayhoff : libadeos. 

2 Geleiiius : ab aris (avaris Sellig). 

" OrqpiaKov, ' good for curing an animars bite ' ; our word 
* treacle ' comes f rom this Greek word. 

* ' Not to be used for libations.' 
262 



BOOK XIV. XXI. 115-XX11. 118 

a year, except those which we have stated to be 
actually the products of age, and that the larger 
number of them will not keep even a month, 

XXII. Even wine contains miraculous properties Wineswith 
One grown in Arcadia is said to produce abihty to ^roperties 
bear children in women and madness in men ; where- 
as in Achaia, particularly in the neighbourhood of 
Carynia, there is a wine that is reported to prevent 
child-bearing, and this even if women eat the grapes 
when they are pregnant, although these do not differ 
in taste from ordinary grapes. It is said that per- 
sons who drink the wine of Troezen cannot become 
parents. The people of Thasos are reported to 
make two difFerent kinds of wine, a wine that brings 
sleep and another that banishes sleep. The same 
place has a vine called in Greek the ' wikl-animal 
vine,'^ the wine made from which and also its 
grapes cure snake-bites, and another the ' frankin- 
cense vine,' with a scent Hke that of incense, the 
wine from which is used for hbations to the gods. 
That of the vine called * unconsecrated,' ^ on the 
contrary, is banned from the altars ; also it is said 
that no bird will touch it. Egypt gives the name of 
wine of Thasos ' to an extremely sweet native vin- 
tage which causes diarrhoea ; while Lycia on the 
contrary has one that has an astringent effect on the 
bowels. Egypt also possesses a wine called in Greek 
' dehvery wine ' which causes abortion. There are 
certain wines that, while stored in wine-lofts alter in 
quahty at the rising of the Dog-star and afterwards 
change back again ; the same is the case with wines 
shipped over sea, and it is observed that the effect of 
the motion on vintages that can stand it is merely to 
double their previous maturity. 

263 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

119 XXIII. Et quoniam religione vita constat, proli- 
bare dis nefastum habetur vina, praeter inputatae, 
vitis fulmine tactae quamque iuxta hominis mors 
laqueo pependerit, aut vulneratis pedibus calcata et 
quod circumcisis vinaceis profluxerit, aut superne 
deciduo inmundiore lapsu aliquo polluta ; item 
Graeca, quoniam aquam habeant. 

Vitis ipsa quoque manditur decoctis caulibus 
summis, qui et condiuntur in aceto ac muria. 

120 XXIV. Verum et de apparatu vini dixisseconveniat, 
cum Graeci privatim ea praecepta condiderint artem- 
que fecerint, sicut Euphronius et Aristomachus et 
Commiades et Hicesius. Africa gypso mitigat asperi- 
tatem, nec non aUquibus partibus sui calce. Graecia 
argilla aut marmore aut sale aut mari lenitatem exci- 
tat, ItaUae pars aliqua crapulana ^ pice, ac resina 
condire musta volgare ei est provinciisque finitimis ; 
nonnusquam prioris vini faece acetove condiunt. 

121 nec non et ex ipso musto fiunt medicamina ; deco- 
quitur ut dulcescat pro ^ portione virium, nec 
durare ultra annum spatium tale proditur. aliqui- 
bus in locis decocunt ad sapas musta infusisque his 

1 V.ll. rapulana, rabulaiia. 

2 pro add. ? {vel ad portionem) Mayhoff. 



" An inferior kind of wine was got by trimming ofif the 
grape-skins protruding from the press after the first pressing 
and putting them through the press a second time. Varro 
R.R. l. 54. 

* Cf. § 124 and n. 

264 



BOOK XIV. XXIII. 119-XXIV. 121 

XXIII. And since life is upheld by reliffion it is Vin^snot 

UA&d, for 

considered sinful to pour libations to the gods, not reii^u4 
only with \vines made from a vine that has not been "'"^^- 
pruned, but from one that has been struck by Hght- 
ning, or one in the neighbourhood of which a man has 
been hanged, or wine made from grapes that have 
been trodden out by someone with sore feet, or 
squeezed from grape-skins that have been cut round " 
or have been soiled by something not quite clean 
dropping on them from above ; and Ukewise Greek 
wines must not be used for Hbations, because they 
contain water. 

The vine itself is also eaten, the tops of the shoots be- 
ing boiled ; they are also pickled in vinegar and brine. 

XXIV. But it may also be proper to give an account Methodi of 
of the method of preparing wine, as Greek authors ^,^*"^ 
have written special treatises on this subject and have 

made a scientific system for it — for instance Euphron- 
ius, Aristomachus, Commiades and Hicesius. The 
practice in Africa is to soften any roughness with 
gypsum, and also in some parts of the country with 
Hme. In Greece, on the other hand, they enUven 
the smoothness of tlieir w ines w^ith potter's earth or 
marble dust or salt or sea-water, while in some parts 
of Italy they use resinous ^ pitch for this purpose, and 
it is the general practice both there and in the neigh- 
bouring provinces to season must with resin ; in 
some places they use the lees of older wine or else 
vinegar for seasoning. Moreover, medicaments for 
this purpose are also made from the must itself : it 
is boiled down so as to become sweeter in proportion 
to its strength, and it is said that must so treated 
does not last beyond a year's time. In some places 
they boil the must down into what is caHed sapa, 

265 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

fcrociam frangunt. et in hoc tamen genere et in 
omni alio subministrant vasa ipsa condimentis picis, 
cuius faciendae ratio proximo dicetur volumine. 

122 XXV. Arborum suco manantium picem resinamque 
aliae ortae in oriente aliae in Europa ferunt ; quae 
interest Asia utrimque quasdam habet. in oriente 
optimam tenuissimamque terebinthi fundunt, dein 
lentisci, quam et masticen vocant, postea cupressi, 
acerrimam sapore, liquidam omnes et tantum res.i- 
nam, crassiorem vero et ad pices faciendas cedrus. 
Arabica resina alba est, acri odore, difficilis coquenti, 
ludaea callosior et terebinthina quoque odoratior, 

123 Syriaca Attici meUis simiUtudinem habet. Cypria 
antecedit omnes, item ^ melleo colore, carnosa. 
Colophonia praeter ceteras fulva, si teratur alba fit, 
gravior odore: ob id non utuntur ea unguentarii. 
in Asia quae fit e picea, admodum candida, psagdas 
vocatur. resina omnis dissolvitur oleo, quidam et 
creta figulinarum hoc fieri arbitrantur; pudetque 
confiteri maximum iam honorem eius esse in evellendis 
virorum corpori piUs. 

124 Ratio autem condiendi musta in primo fervore, qui 
novem diebus cum plurimum peragitur, adspersu 

^ Mayhoff : autem (est autem edd.). 

" Part of Asia Minor. 

266 



BOOK XIV. xxiv. I2I-XXV. 124 

and pour this into tlieir wines to overcome their 
harshness. Still both in the case of this kind of wine 
and in all others they supply the vessels themselves 
with coatings of pitch, the method of making which 
will be described in the next volume. xvi. 52. 

XXV. Of the trees which distil a juice, some grow- VaHeties 
ing in the East and others in Europe produce pitch and "•^ ''^*'"' 
resin, and the province of Asia," which hes between 
the two, has some of both sorts. In the East the best 
and finest resin is produced by the turpentine-tree, 
and next by the lentisk — the latter being also called 
gum-mastic; afterwards comes the juice of the 
cypress, which has a very sharp flavour — all of these 
trees producing a hqiiid juice and merely a resin, 
whereas the juice of the cedar is thicker and suitable 
for making pitch. Arabian resin is white and has a 
sharp scent, stifling to a person engaged in boiUng it ; 
the resin of Judaea dries harder and has a stronger 
scent than even that from the turpentine-tree ; and 
Syrian resin has a reseinblance to Attic honey. The 
resin of Cyprus excels all other kinds ; it hkewise is 
the colour of honey, and has a fleshy consistency. 
That of Colophon is yellow^er than the rest, but if 
ground up turns white ; it has a rather oppressive 
scent, and consequently the perfumers do not make 
use of it. In Asia a very white resin is made from 
the pitch-pine ; it is called psagdas. All resin can 
be dissolved in oil, and some people think that 
potter's chalk can also be so dissolved ; and I am 
ashamed to confess that the chief value now set on 
resin is for use as a depilatory for men. 

The method of seasoning wine is to sprinkle the useofresin 
must with pitch during its first fermentation, which ^J^^fdwes 
is completed in nine days at most, so that \h.t.for flavour- 

•^ iiuj wifu. 

267 



PLINY : NATURAL HISTORY 

picis, ut odor vino contingat et saporis quaedam acu- 
mina. vehementius id fieri arbitrantur crudo flore 
resinae excitarique lenitatem, e diverso crapula 
conpesci feritatem nimiam frangique virus aut, ubi 
pigra lenitas torpeat, virus addi, Liguriae maxime 

125 Circumpadanisque mustis. crapulae utilitas discerni- 
tur hoc modo : pugnacibus mustis crapulae plus 
inditur, lenibus parcius. sunt qui et ^ utroque 
condiri velint ; nec non ahqua est musti picea ^ 
natura, vitiumque musto quibusdam in locis iterum 
sponte fervere, qua calamitate deperit sapor : vappae 
accipit nomen, probrosum etiam hominum cum de- 
generavit animus. aceti enim nequitiae inest virtus 
magnos ad usus, et sine quis mitior vita degi non 

126 possit. cetero vinorum medicaminis tanta cura est 
ut cinere apud quosdam ceu gypso aUbi et quibus 
diximus modis instaurentur ; sed cinerem e vitis 
sarmentis aut quercu praeferunt. quin et marinam 
aquam eiusdem rei gratia ex alto peti iubent servari- 
que ab aequinoctio verno, aut certe nocte solstitio 

1 et Mayhoff : ex. 

2 Urlichs : alia que est mulsi pice et. 



» Crapulu, properly intoxication or sick-headache, but 
transferred to the liquor that was supposed to produce this 
state. 

268 



BOOK XIV. XXV. 124-126 

wine may be given the scent of pitch and some 
touches of its piquant flavour. It is thought that a 
more effective way of doing this is by means of raw 
flower of resin, this giving briskness to the smooth 
quaUty of the wine, while on the other hand resin- 
juice ^ is believed to mitigate the excessive harshness 
of a wine and to conquer its asperity, or in the case 
of a thin, smooth, flat wine to add a touch of asperity 
— this is especially done with the musts of Liguria and 
the locahties on the border of the river Po. The 
beneficial employment of resin-juice is adjusted in 
this way : a larger quantity of juice is put into strong, 
fiery wines, and it is used more sparingly with thin, 
flat ones. Some people advise using both resin- 
juice and pitch to season must ; and in fact must has 
a certain pitchy quaHty and in some districts the 
fault of must is that it ferments a second time of its 
own accord, a disaster that destroys its flavour ; this 
Hquor is given the name of vappa, which is also applied 
as a term of opprobrium to human beings when their 
spirit has deteriorated. For the tartness of vinegar 
possesses a valuable quality useful for important 
purposes, and without which it is impossible to Uve in 
comparative comfort. For the rest, so much atten- 
tion is given to the treatment of wines that in some 
places ashes are employed, as is gypsum elsewhere, 
and the methods that we have specified, for the pur- § 120. 
pose of improving their condition ; but preference is 
given to ashes obtained from vine-clippings or from 
oakwood. Also it is recommended that sea-water 
should be used for this purpose that has been obtained 
a long way out at sea at the spring equinox and then 
kept in store, or at all events that it should be taken 
up during the night at the time of the solstice and 

269 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

et aquilone flante hauriri, vel, si circa vindemiam 
hauriatur, decoqui. 

127 Pix in Itaha ad vasa vino condendo maxime pro- 
batur Bruttia; fit e piceae resina. in Hispania 
autem e pinastris minime laudata; est enim resina 
harum amara et arida et gravi odore. differentiam 
rationemque faciendi proximo volumine demonstra- 
bimus inter arbores feras. vitia praeter supra dicta 
acor aut fumidum virus, picis autem adustio ; experi- 
mentum vero si fragmenta subluceant ac sub dente 

128 lentescant acore iucundo. Asia picem Idaeam 
maximeprobat,GraeciaPiericam,VergiUusNaryciam. 
diligentiores admiscent nigram masticen, quae in 
Ponto bitumini similis gignitur, et iris radicem oleum- 
que. nam ceram accipientibus vasis conpertum vina 
acescere ; sed transferre in ea vasa in quibus acetum 
fuerit utilius quam in ea in quibus dulce aut mulsum. 

129 Cato iubet vina concinnari — hoc enim utitur verbo — 
cineris Hxivi cum defruto cocti parte quadragesima ^ 
in culleum, vel saHs sesquiUbra, interim et tuso 
marmore ; facit et sulpuris mentionem, resinae vero 

130 in novissimis. super omnia addi maturescente iam 

^ Hermolaus e, Catone : quadringentesima. 

" In the sense of employing wine in a laxative. 
270 



BOOK XIV. XXV. 126-130 

when a north wind is blowing, or if it is obtained 
about vintage time it should be boiled before being 
used. 

The pitch most highly esteemed in Italy for vessels Pitchfor 
intendcd for storing wine is that which comes from casks? ^^ 
the Bruttii ; it is made from the resin of the pitch- 
pine. But the pitch obtained from the wild pine in 
Spain is very Uttle valued, as resin from that tree is 
bitter and dry and has a disagreeable smell. The 
varieties of pitch and the method of making it we 
shall set out in the next volume when we are dealing xvi. 53 f. 
with forest trees. The defects in resin beside those 
already mentioned are acridity or else a smoky tang, 
while the fault of pitch is being over-burnt ; but the 
test is if when it is broken up the pieces have a lumi- 
nous appearance, and if they stick to the teeth with 
an agreeably tart taste. In Asia pitch from Ida is 
most popular, and in Greece that of Pieria, but 
Virgil gives the preference to the pitch of Naryse. Georgicsii. 
The more careful makers mix with the wine black *^^' 
mastich, which is found in Pontus and which resembles used^'^" 
bitumen, and also iris-root and oil. As for waxinsc ^^.^ ^^^^ 
the vessels it is lound that this makes the wme turn 
sour ; but it pays better to transfer the wine into 
vessels that have contained vinegar than into those 
which have contained sweet wine or mead. Cato /z.H.xxiii, 
recommends that wine should be ' adjusted ' — this is cxxii. 
the word he uses « — by adding lye-ashes boiled with 
boiled-down must in the proportion of a fortieth part 
to the wine skin, or else a pound and a half of salt, 
also occasionally some pounded marble ; he also 
mentions sulphur, but he only puts resin near the 
end of the list. When the wine is beginning to 
mature he advises adding on the top of all some of 

271 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

vino iubet mustum quod ille tortivum appellat, nos 
intellegimus novissime expressum. et addi scimus ^ 
tinguendi gratia colores ut pigmentum aliquod vini, 
atque ita pinguius fieri. tot veneficiis placere cogitur, 
et miramur noxium esse. 

In vitium inclinantis experimentum est lamnae 
plumbeae mutatus in eo colos. 

131 XXVI. Proprium autem inter liquores vino muces- 
cere aut in acetum verti ; extantque medicinae 
volumina. faex vini siccata recipit ignes ac sine 
alimento per sese flagrat ; cinis eius nitri naturam 
habet easdemque vires, hoc amplius quod pinguior 
sentitur. 

132 XXVII. Magna et collecto iam vino difFerentia in 
caelo. circa Alpes Hgneis vasis condunt tegulisque ^ 
cingunt, atque etiam hieme geUda ignibus rigorem 
arcent. rarum dictu, sed aliquando visum, ruptis 
vasis stetere glaciatae moles, prodigii modo, quoniam 
vini natura non gelascit : ahas ad frigus stupet tantum. 

133 mitiores plagae dohis condunt infodiuntque terrae 
tota aut ad portionem situs : ^ ita * caelum prohibent : 
ahbi vero impositis tectis arcent. traduntque et haec 
praecepta : latus cellae vinariae aut certe fenestras 

1 Mayhoff : addiscimus. 

2 tegulisque ? Mayhoff : tectisque aut circulisque. 

3 V.l. sinus. 

* Mayhoff: item. 



" A conjectural emendation : the MSS. give ' with roofs ' 
or ' with hoops.' 

* I.e. so as to cover up a portion of their height as they 
are placed. A variant reading seems to mean ' up to a 
portion of the curve of the jar.' 

272 



BOOK XIV. XXV. 130-xxvir. 133 

the must which he calls * squeezinf]^s,' which \ve take 
to mean that which is the very last pressed out. 
Also we know that for the sake of colouring the wine 
colours are added as a sort of pigment and that this 
gives the wine more body. So many poisons are 
employed to force wine to suit our taste — and we are 
surprised that it is not wholesome ! 

It is a proof that wine is beginning to go bad if a 
sheet of lead when dipped in it turns a difFerent 
colour. 

XX\7. It is a pccuharity of wine among hquids Preseria- 
to go mouldy or else to turn into vinegar ; and whole 
vohimes of instructions how to remedy this have been 
published. Wine-lees when dried will catch fire, 
and go on burning of themselves without fucl being 
addcd ; their ashes have the nature of nitre, and the 
same properties, with the addition that they are 
greasier to the touch. 

XXVII. Even in regard to wine already vintaged stomgeo} 
there is a great difference in point of chmate. In the 
neighbourhood of the Alps they put it in wooden 
casks and close these round with tiles^ and in a cold 
winter also hght fires to protect it from the effect of 
the cokl. It is seldom recorded, but it has been seen 
occasionally, that the vessels have burst in a frost, 
leaving the wine standing in frozen blocks — almost 
a miracle, since it is not the nature of wine to freeze : 
usually it is only numbed by cold. Districts with a 
milder chmate store their wine in jars and bury them 
in the ground entirely, or else up to a part of their 
position,* so protectingthem against the atmosphere ; 
but in other places people keep off the weather by 
building roofs over them. And they also give the 
followin-g rules : one side of a wine-cellar or at least 

273 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

obverti in aquilonera oportere vel utique in exortum 
aequinoctialem ; sterculinia et arborum radices 
procul abesse, omniaque odoris evitandi facillimo in 

134 vina transitu, ficos utique et caprificos ; doliis etiam 
intervalla dari, ne inter sese vitia serpant contagione 
vini semper ocissima. quin et figuras referre : 
ventriosa ac patula minus utilia. picari oportere 
protinus a canis ortu, postea perfundi marina aqua 
aut salsa, dein cinere e sarmentis aspergi vel argilla, 
abstersa murra suffiri ipsasque saepius cellas. inbe- 
cilla vina demissis in terram doliis servanda, valida 

135 expositis. numquam implenda, et quod supersit 
passo aut defruto perunguendum admixto croco 
pistave iri ^ cum sapa. sic opercula doliorum medi- 
canda addita mastiche aut pice Bruttia. bruma 
aperiri vetant nisi sereno die, vetant austro flante 
lunave plena. 

136 Flos vini candidus probatur ; rubens triste signum 
est, si non is vini colos sit; item vasa incalescentia 
operculave sudantia. quod celeriter florere coeperit 
odoremque trahere non fore diutinum. ipsa quoque 

^ Fels : pisave iri aut alia. 



" A mould that forins on the surface and then sinks and ia 
held in suspension. 

274 



BOOK XIV. XXVII. 133-136 

its windows ought to face north-east, or at all events 
east ; dunghills and tree-roots must be a long way off, 
and all objects with a strong smell should be avoided, 
as it very easily passes into wine — particularly there 
must be no fig-trees or wild figs near ; also spaces 
must be left between the jars, to prevent taints 
passing from one to the other, as wine is always Hable 
to very rapid infection. Moreover (these instruc- 
tions proceed) the shape of the jars is important : 
pot-belHed and broad ones are not so good. Imme- 
diately after the rising of the Dog-star they should 
be coated with pitch, and afterwards washed with 
sea-water or water with salt in it, and then sprinkled 
with ashes of brushwood or else with potter's earth, 
and then rubbed clean and fumigated with myrrh, as 
should frequently be done with the wine-cellars also. 
Weak vintages shoukl be kept in jars sunk in the 
ground, but jars containing strong wines should be 
exposed to the air. The jars must never be filled 
quite full, and the space above the surface of the 
wine must be smeared with raisin-wine or boiled- 
down must mixed with saffron or iris pounded 
up with boiled must. The Hds of the jars should 
be treated in the same way, with the addition of 
mastich or Bruttian pitch. It is laid down that 
jars must not be opened at mid-winter except on a 
fine day, and not when a south wind is blowing, or 
at a fuU moon. 

Flower ^ of wine forming is thought to be a good Tesis of 
sign if it is white, but a bad sign if it is red, unless it ^^^^^- 
is a red wine ; similarly it is a bad sign if the jars feel 
warm to the touch, or if the Hds sweat. Wine that 
quickly begins to form a flower and to develop an 
odour is not going to keep. Also boiled-down must 

275 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

defruta ac sapa cum sit caelum sine luna, hoc est in 
sideris eius coitu, neque alio die coqui debent ; prae- 
terea plumbeis vasis, non aereis, nucibusque iuglandi- 
bus additis : eas enira fumum excipere. Campaniae 
nobilissima exposita sub diu in cadis verberari sole, 
luna, imbre, ventis aptissimum videtur. 

137 XXVIII. Ac si quis diligentius reputet, in nulla 
parte operosior vita est — ceu non saluberrimum ad 
potus aquae liquorem natura dederit, quo cetera 
omnia animantia utuntur, at nos vinum bibere et 
iumenta cogimus — tantoque opere, tanto labore 
et inpendio constat ^ quod hominis mentem mutet 
ac furorem gignat, milibus scelerum ob id editis, 
tanta dulcedine ut magna pars non aliud vitae prae- 

138 mium intellegat. quin immo, ut plus capiamus, 
sacco frangimus vires, et alia inritamenta excogitantur 
ac bibendi causa etiam venena concipiuntur, aliis 
cicutam praesumentibus ut bibere mors cogat, aliis 
pumicis farinam et quae referendo pudet docere. 

139 cautissimos ex iis in balineis coqui videmus exani- 
mesque efferri, iam vero alios lectum expectare non 
posse, immo vero nec tunicam, nudosque ibi protinus 

^ V.l. praestat. 



" Cf. II. VIII. 189, Andromache used to give wine to Hector'8 
horses — though the genuineness of the whole passage ia 
suspected; and Columella II. 3, wine given to flagging oxen. 

276 



BOOK XIV. XXVII. 136-XXV111. 139 

and must of new wine should be boiled when there is 
no nioon, which means at the conjunction of that 
planet, and not on any other day ; and moreover 
leaden and not copper jars should be used, and 
some wahiuts should be thrown into the hquor, for 
those are said to absorb the smoke. The best way 
of treating the finest wines of Campania seems to 
be to set them out in casks in the open air, exposed 
to the sun, moon, rain and wind. 

XXMII. And if anybody cares to consider the TrouUe 
matter more carefully , there is no department of man's wine ^ 
Ufe on which more labour is spent — as if nature had ^^j^^g 
not given us the most healthy of beverages to drink, Excessive 
water, which all other animals make use of, whereas "" *"^' 
we coinpel even our beasts of burden to drink wine ! « 
and so much toil and labour and outlay is paid as the 
price of a thing that perverts men's minds and pro- 
duces madness, having caused the commission of thou- 
sands of crimes, and being so attractive that a large 
part of mankind knows of nothing else worth hving 
for! Nay, what is more, to enable us to take more, 
we reduce its strength by means of a hnen strainer, 
and other enticements are devised and even poisonous 
mixtures are invented to promote drinking, some men 
taking a dose of hemlock before they begin, in order 
that fear of death may compel them to drink, while 
others take powdered pumice and preparations which 
I am ashamed to teach the use of by describing them. 
The most cautious of these topers we see getting 
themselves boiled in hot baths and being carried out 
of the bathroom unconscious, and others actually 
unable to wait to get to the dinner table, no, not even 
to put their clothes on, but straight away on the spot, 
while still naked and panting, they snatch up huge 

277 



PLINY: NATURAL IIISTORY 

et anhelos ingentia vasa corripere velut ad ostenta- 
tionem virium ac plena infundere, ut statim vomant 
rursusque hauriant ; idque iterum tertiimique, tam- 
quam ad perdenda vina geniti, et tamquam efFundi 

140 illa non possint nisi per corpus humanum. huc 
pertinent peregrinae exercitationes et volutatio in 
caeno ac pectorosa cervicis repandae ostentatio. 
per omnia haec praedicatur sitis quaeri. iam vero 
quae in bibendo certamina, quae vasa adulteriis 
caelata, tamquam per se parum doceat libidines temu- 
lentia! ita vina ex libidine hauriuntur, atque etiam 
praemio invitatur ebrietas et, si dis placet, emitur. 
alius ut quantum biberit tantum edat ^ pretium vino- 
lentiae lege accipit, alius quantum alea quaesierit 

141 tantum bibit. tunc avidi matronam oculi Ucentur, 
graves produnt marito ; tunc animi secreta pro- 
feruntur : aHi testamenta sua nuncupant, alii morti- 
fera elocuntur rediturasque per iugulum voces non 
continent, quam multis ita interemptis, volgoque veri- 

142 tas iam attributa vino est. interea, ut optime cedat, 
solem orientem non vident, ac minus diu vivunt. 
hinc pallor et genae pendulae, oculorum ulcera, 

1 V.l. edit. 

" The proverb In vino veritua. 
278 



BOOK XIV. XXVIII. 139 -M 2 

vessels as if to show off their strength, and pour down 
the whole of the contents, so as to bring them up 
again at once, and then drink another draught ; 
and they do this a second and a third time, as if 
they were born for the purpose of wasting wine, 
and as if it were impossible for the Hquor to be 
poured away unless by using the human body as a 
funnel. This is the object of the exercises that 
have been introduced from foreign countries, and 
of rolUng in the mud and throwing the neck back 
to show^ off the muscles of the chest. It is declared 
that the object of all these exercises is merely to 
raise a thirst ! Then again, think of the drinking 
matches ! think of the vessels engraved with scenes 
of adultery, as though tippHng were not enough by 
itself to give lessons in hcentiousness ! Thus wine- 
bibbing is caused by Ucence, and actuaUy a prize is 
offered to promote drunkenness — heaven help us, it 
is actuaUy purchased. One man gets a prize for 
tipsiness on condition of his eating as much as he 
has drunk ; another drinks as many cups as are 
demanded of him by a throw of the dice. Then it 
is that greedy eyes bid a price for a married woman, 
and their heavy glances betray it to her husband ; 
then it is that the secrets of the heart are pub- 
Ushed abroad : some men specify the provisions of 
their wiUs, others let out facts of fatal import, and 
do not keep to themselves words that wiU come back 
to them through a sUt in their throat — how many men 
having lost their Uves in that way ! and truth has 
come to be proverbiaUy credited to wine." Mean- 
time, even should aU turn out for the best, drunkards 
never see the rising sun, and so shorten their Uves. 
TippUng brings a pale face and hanging cheeks, 

279 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

tremulae manus efFundentes plena vasa, quae sit 
poena praesens furiales somni et inquies nocturna, 
praemiumque summum ebrietatis libido portentosa 
ac iucundum nefas. postero die ex ore halitus cadi 
ac rerum omnium oblivio morsque memoriae. rapere 
se ita vitam praedicant, cum priorem diem cotidie 

143 perdant aUi,^ illi vero et venientem. Tiberio Claudio 
principe ante hos annos xl institutum ut ieiuni bi- 
berent potusque vini antecederet cibos, externis et 
hoc artibus ac medicorum placitis novitate semper 

144 aliqua sese commendantium. gloriam hac virtute 
Parthi quaerunt, famam apud Graecos Alcibiades 
meruit, apud nos cognomen etiam Novellius Torquatus 
Mediolanensis, ad proconsulatmn usque e praetura ^ 
honoribus gestis, tribus congiis (unde et cognomen 
ilH fuit),^ epotis uno impetu, spectante miracuH 
gratia Tiberio principe in senecta iam severo atque 
etiam saevo : alias et ipsi iuventa ad merum pronior 

145 fuerat, eaque commendatione credidere L. Pisonem 
urbis curae ab eo delectum quod biduo duabusque 
noctibus perpotationem continuasset apud ipsum 
iam principem. nec aUo magis Drusus Caesar re- 

146 generasse patrem Tiberium ferebatur. Torquato 

1 alii add. RackJiam, 

2 V.l. praeturae. 

^ [unde . . . fuit] ? RackJiam. 

" Tricongius. 

* This repetition of tlie explanation of the name looks iike 
au interpolation. 
' Praefectus urbia. 

280 



BOOK XIV. XXVIII. 142-146 

sore eyes, shaky hands that spill the contents of 
vessels when they are full, and the condign punish- 
ment of haunted sleep and restless nights, and the 
crowning reward of drunkenness, monstrous hcen- 
tiousness and dehght in iniquity. Next day the 
])reath reeks of the wine-cask, and everything is for- 
gotten — the memory is dead. This is what they call 
* snatching hfe as it comes ! ' when, whereas other 
men daily lose their yesterdays, these people lose 
to-morrow also. Forty years ago, during the rulc of stonesof 
the Emperor Tiberius, the fashion set in of drinking '^^*^'- 
on an empty stomach and preceding meals with a 
draught of wine — yet another result of foreign 
methods and of the doctors' poUcy of perpetually 
advertising themselves by some novelty. This is 
the kind of prowess by which the Parthians seek fame 
and Alcibiades won his reputation in Greece, and to 
which among ourselves NoveUius Torquatus of Milan 
even owed his surname ^ — a man who held the offices 
of state from praetor right up to deputy consul — by 
tossing off 2j gallons at one draught, which was 
actually the origin of his sumame ; * this was shown 
ofF as a sort of mystery before the Emperor Tiberius 
in his old age, when he had become very strict 
and indeed cruel, though for the matter of that his 
own earlier years had been somewhat incHned to 
strong drink, and it was beheved that what recom- 
mendcd Lucius Piso to Tiberius for selection as 
custodian of the city '^ was that he had kept on 
carousing for two days and two nights without a 
break, at Tiberius's own house after he had become 
Emperor. And it was said that Drusus Caesar 
took after his father Tiberius in nothing more than 
in this. Torquatus had the unusual distinction — as 

voL. IV. K 281 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

rara gloria — quando et haec ars suis legibus constat — 
non labasse sermone, non levatum vomitione nec alia 
corporis parte dum biberet, matutinas obisse sine ^ 
iniuria vigilias, plurimum hausisse uno potu, plurimum 
praeterea aliis minoribus addidisse, optima fide non 
respirasse in hauriendo neque expuisse, nihilque ad 
elidendum in pavimentis sonum ex vino reliquisse, 

147 diligenti scito legum contra bibendi fallacias. Ter- 
gilla Ciceronem M. f. binos congios simul haurire 
solitum ipsi obicit, Marcoque Agrippae a temulento 
scyphum inpactum : etenim haec sunt ebrietatis 
opera. sed nimirum hanc gloriam auferre Cicero 

148 voluit interfectori patris sui M. Antonio ; is enim 
ante eum avidissime adprehenderat hanc palmam 
edito etiam volumine de sua ebrietate, quo patro- 
cinari sibi ausus adprobavit plane, ut equidem arbi- 
tror, quanta mala per temulentiam terrarum orbi 
intulisset. exiguo tempore ante proeUum Actiacum 
id volumen evomuit, quo facile intellegatur ebrius 
iam sanguine civium et tanto magis eum sitiens. 
namque et haec necessitas vitium comitatur ut bi- 
bendi consuetudo augeat aviditatem, scitumque est 
Scytharum legati, quanto plus biberint tanto magis 
sitire Parlhos. 

1 siiie add. Detlefsen. 
282 



BOOK XIV. XXVIII. 146-148 

evcn this science has its own code of riiles — of never 
having stammered in his speech or reUeved himself 
by vomiting or otherwise while he was drinking, but of 
having always turned up for duty with the morning 
guard without anything going wrong, and of having 
drunk thc largest quantity on record at one draught 
and also added to the record by some more smaller 
draughts, of not having taken breath or spat while 
drinking (this on the best evidence), and of not 
having left any heel-taps to make a splash in the paved 
floor — under the elaborate code of rules to prevent 
cheating in drinking. Tergilla brings it up against 
Marcus Cicero that his son Cicero was in the habit 
of tossing ofF a gallon and a half at one draught, 
and that when tipsy he threw a goblet at Marcus 
Agrippa : these in fact are the usual results of intoxi- 
cation. But no doubt young Cicero wanted to deprive 
his father's murderer, Mark Antony, of his fame in 
this department; for Antony had strained evcry 
effort to win the championship in this field before 
him, by actually publishing a book on the subject of 
his own drunken habits ; and by venturing to cham- 
pion his claims in this volume, to my mind he clearly 
proves the magnitude of the evils that he had inflicted 
on the world through his tippHng. It was shortly 
before the battle of Actium that he vomited up this 
vohime, so proving clearly that he was already drunk 
Mith the blood of his compatriots, and that that made 
him only the more thirsty for it. For in fact the 
inevitable result of this vice is that the habit of 
drinking increases the appetite for it, and it was a 
shrewd observation of the Scythian ambassador that 
the more the Parthians drank the thirstier they 
became. 

283 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

149 XXIX. Est et occidentis populis sua ebrietas e^ 
fruge madida, pluribus modis per Gallias Hispaniasque, 
nominibus aliis sed ratione eadem. Hispaniae iam et 
vetustatem ferre ea genera docuerunt. Aegyptus 
quoque e fruge sibi potus similis excogitavit, nullaque 
in parte mundi cessat ebrietas ; meros quippe hauriunt 
tales sucos nec diluendo ut vina mitigant ; at, Hercu- 
les, illic tellus fruges parare videbatur. heu, mira 
vitiorimi sollertia ! inventum est quemadmodum 
aquae quoque inebriarent. 

150 Duo sunt liquores humanis corporibus gratissimi, 
inlus vini, foris olei, arborum e genere ambo prae- 
cipui, sed olei necessarius, nec segniter in eo vita 
elaboravit. quanto tamen in potu ingeniosior fuerit 
apparebit ad bibendum generibus centum octoginta 
quinque (si species vero aestimentur, paene dupHci 
numero) excogitalis, tantoque paucioribus olei, de 
quo sequenti vohimine dicemus. 

^ e v.l. om. 



284 



BOOK XIV. XXIX. 149-150 

XXIX. Thc nations of the west also have their own lieerin 
inloxicant, made from grain soaked in water ; there {'^'JlSl, 
are a number of ways of making it in the various pro- 
vinces of Gaul and Spain and under different names, 
although the principle is the same. The Spanish 
provinces have by this time even taught us that these 
liquors will bear being kept a long time. Egypt also 
has devised for itself similar drinks made from grain, 
and in no part of the world is drunkenness ever out 
of action, in fact they actually qualf liquors of this 
kind neat and do not temper their strength by dilut- 
ing them, as is done with wine ; yet, by Hercules, 
it used to be thought that the produet of the earth 
in that country was corn. Alas, what wonderful 
ingenuity vace possesses ! a method has actually 
been discovered for making even water intoxicated ! 

There are two liquids that are specially agreeable ou. 
to the human body, wine inside and oil outside, both 
of them the most excellent of all the products of the 
tree class, but oil an absolute necessity, nor has man's 
Ufe been slothful in expending labour upon it. How 
much more ingenious, however, man has been in 
respect of drink will be made clear by the fact that 
he has devised 185 kinds of beverages (or if varieties 
be reckoned, almost double that number), and so 
much less numerous kinds of oil — about which we 
shall speak in the foUowing volume. 



285 



BOOK XV 



LIBER XV 

I. Oleam Theophrastus e celeberrimis Graecomm 
auctoribus urbis Romae anno circiter ccccxl ne- 
gavit nisi intra xxxx passuum ab mari nasci, 
Fenestella vero omnino non fuisse in Itaha Hispania- 
que aut Africa Tarquinio Prisco regnante, ab annis 
populi Romani clxxiii, quae nunc pervenit trans 
Alpes quoque et in Gallias Hispaniasque medias. 

2 urbis quidem anno dv Appio Claudio Caeci nepote 
L. lunio cos. olei librae duodenae denis ^ assibus 
veniere, et mox anno dclxxx M. Seius L. f. aedilis 
curulis olei denas hbras singuhs assibus praestitit po- 

3 pulo Romano per totum annum. minus ea miretur 
qui sciat post annos xxii Cn. Pompeio iii. cos. oleum 
provinciis Itaham misisse. Hesiodus quoque, in 
primis culturam agrorum docendam arbitratus vitam, 
negavit oleae satorem fructum ex ea percepisse 
quemquam — tam tarda tunc res erat ; at nunc etiam 
in plantariis ferunt, translatarumque altero anno 
decerpuntur bacae. 

4 II. Fabianus negat provenire in frigidissimis oleam 
neque in cahdissimis. genera earum tria dixit 

^ Mayhoff : duodenae aut duae denis. 
288 



BOOK XV 

I. One of the most celebrated Greek authors, NaturaJ 
Theophrastus, who flourished about 314 b.c, stated ^",^^^°£^ 
that the oHve onlv orrows at plaees within forty miles ?'^.?'?'''/ 
o\ the sea, while renestella says that in 581 b.c, 
during the reign of Tarquinius Priscus, it was not 
found at all in Italy and Spain or in Africa ; whereas 

at the present day it has penetrated even across the 
Alps and intothe middleof theGalHcandSpanish pro- 
vinces. Indeed in 249 b.c, the year in which Appius 
Claudius the grandson of Appius Claudius Caecus 
and Lucius Junius were the consuls, olive-oil cost 10 
asses for 12 Ibs. and somewhat later, in 74 b.c, the 
curule aedile Marcus Seius,son of Lucius, throughout 
the whole of his year of office suppHed the Roman 
pubHc with oil at the rate of an as for 10 Ibs. These 
facts wiH seem less surprising to a person who knows 
that 22 years later in the third consulship of Gnaeus 
Pompeius Italy exported oil to the provinces. Also 
Hesiod, who thought that instruction in agriculture 
was a prime necessity of Hfe, declared that no one 
had ever gathered fruit from an oHve-tree of his own 
planting — so slow a business it was in those days, 
whereas now oHve-trees bear even in the nursery- 
gardens, and after they have been transplanted 
oHves are picked from them the next year. 

II. Fabianus says that the oHve will not grow in oiive- 
extremely cold places nor yet in extremely hot ones. ^Sw^.''^ 

289 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

Vergilius, orchites et radios et posias, nec desiderare 
rastros aut falces ullamve curam. sine dubio et in 
iis solum maxime caelumque refert ; verumtamen et 
tondentur cum et vites, atque etiam interradi gau- 

5 dent. consequens earum vindemia est, arsque vel 
maior olei musta temperandi : ex eadem quippe oliva 
dilferunt suci. primum omnium cruda dat ^ atque 
nondum inchoatae maturitatis — hoc sapore prae- 
stantissimum ; quin et ex eo prima unda preli 
lautissima ac deinde per deminutiones, sive in sportis 
prematur sive, ut nuper inventum est, exiUbus 

6 regulis pede incluso. quanto maturior baca, tanto 
pinguior sucus minusque gratus. optima autem 
aetas ad decerpendum inter copiam bonitatemque 
incipiente baca nigrescere, cum vocant druppas, 
Graeci vere drypetidas. cetero distat tum,^ maturi- 
tas illa in torcularibus fiat an ramis, rigua fuerit 
arbor an suo tantum baca suco nihilque aHud quam 
rores caeli biberit. 

7 III. Vetustas oleo taedium adfert non item ut vino, 
plurimumque aetatis annuo est, provida, si Ubeat 
intellegere, natura, quippe temulentiae nascentibus 
vinis uti necesse non est, quin immo invitat ad servan- 

^ dat add. Mueller. 

2 Muelhr : distat an aut distant an. 



« Georgics II. 85 and 420. 

^ From opxis, a testicle. 

' The mo(lern long olive. 

•* Frobably the Olea media rotunda praecox. 



290 



BOOK XV. II. 4-III. 7 

V^irgil ° said that there are three kinds of oHve, the 
orchites,'' the shuttle-oUve '^ and the posia ; '^ he also 
stated that the oHve-tree does not require raking or 
pruning or any attention. There is no doubt that 
even in the case of oHves the soil and the cHmate are 
of very great importance ; but nevertheless they 
are also pruned at the same time as the vine, and 
they Hke the ground to be raked between them as 
well. OHve-picking foUows the vintage, and making 
oHve-oil requires even more science than making 
wine, as the same oHve-tree produces a variety of oils. 
The first oil of aH is obtained from the raw oHve and 
when it has not yet begun to ripen — this has the best 
flavour ; moreover its first issue from the press is the 
richest, and so on by diminishing stages, whether the 
oHves are crushed in wicker sieves or by enclosing 
the spray in narrow-meshed strainers, a method 
recently invented. The riper the berry is, the 
greasier and less agreeable in flavour is the juice. 
The best age for picking oHves, as between quantity 
and flavour, is when the berry is beginning to turn 
black, at the stage when they are caHed druppae with 
us and drypetides by the Greeks. For the rest, it 
makes a difference at that stage whether the maturing 
of the berry takesplaceinthepresses or ontheboughs, 
and whether the tree has been watered or the berry 
has only been moistened by its own juice and has 
drunk nothing else but the dews of heaven. 

III. It is not the same with oHve-oil as with wine oihe-oii: 
— age gives it an unpleasant flavour, and at the end p^l^a! 
of a year it is already old. Herein, if one chooses 
to understand it, Nature shows her forethought, 
inasmuch as there is no necessity to use up wine, 
which is produced for the purpose of intoxication 

291 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

dum blanda inveterati caries, oleo noluit parci 

8 fecitque ea necessitate promiscuum et volgo. princi- 
patum in lioc quoque bono optinuit Italia e toto 
orbe, maxime agro Venafrano eiusque parte quae 
Licinianum fundit oleum, unde et Liciniae gloria 
praecipua olivae. unguenta hanc palmam dedere 
accommodato ipsis odore, dedit et palatum delica- 
tiore sententia. de cetero bacas Uciniae nulla avis 
adpetit. relicum certamen inter Histriae terram et 
Baeticae par est; cetero fere vicina bonitas pro- 
vinciis excepto Africae frugifero solo. Cereri id 
totum ^ natura concessit, oleiun ac vinum tantum 
non invidit,^ satisque gloriae in messibus fecit. re- 
liqua erroris plena, quem in nuUa parte vitae 
numerosiorem esse docebimus. 

9 Oliva constat nucleo, oleo, carne, amurca. sanies 
haec est eius amara; fit ex aquis, ideo siccitatibus 
minima, riguis copiosa. suus quidem olivae sucus 
oleum est, idque praecipue ex inmaturis intelle- 
gitur, sicut in '^ omphacio docuimus. augetur oleum 

^ Mueller : totum aut totum id. 
^ Sillig : non invidit tantum. 
^ in add. Mayhoff (de alii). 



" As well as the grape, see XIV. 8. 



292 



BOOK XV. III. 7-9 

— rather indeed the attractive over-ripeness which 

it acquires with age tempts us to keep it ; but she 

did not desire us to be sparing in the use of oil, 

and she has made it universal even among common 

people because of the necessity of using it quickly. 

In the matter of this blessing also ^* Italy has won 

the highest rank of all the world, particularly in the 

district of Venafro and the part of it which pro- 

duces the Licinian oil, which causes the Licinian 

olive to be exceptionally famous. It is unguents 

that have given it this eminence, because its scent is 

so well adapted to them, but it has also been awarded 

to it by the palate with its more delicate judgement. 

Moreover no bird will touch the berries of the 

Licinian oUve. The remainder of the competition 

is maintained between the territory of Istria and 

that of Baetica on equal terms, while for the rest the 

provinces have an approximately equal rank, with 

the exception of Africa, whose soil is adapted for 

grain. This territory Nature has yielded entirely to 

the Corn-goddess, having all but entirely grudged 

it oil and wine, and having given it a sufficiency of 

glory in its harvests. The remaining statements 

prevalent concerning the oUve are fuU of error, which 

we shaU prove to be more prevalent in no other §§ lo, 1 1 1. 

department of Ufe. 

An oUve consists of a stone, oil, flesh and lees ; Propertieso/ 
the latter constituent is a bitter fluid, which forms ^iy,^ojio/ 
out of water and consequently there is very Uttle ot^ obtainiTig u, 
it in dry situations but a large amount in wet ones. 
The oil is indeed a juice pecuUar to the oUve, and 
this can be speciaUy learnt from oUves in an unripe 
state, as we have shown when treating of unripe xii. 130. 
oUve-juice and grape-juice. The oil continues to 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

ad arcturi exortum ^ in a. d. xvi kal. Oct., postea 
nuclei increscunt et caro. tum si etiam copiosi 
imbres ^ accessere, vitiatur oleum in amurcam. 
huius color olivam cogit nigrescere, ideoque inei- 
piente nigritia minimum amurcae, ante eam nihil. 

10 et error hominum falsus existimantium maturitatis 
initium quod est vitii proximum, deinde quod oleum 
crescere olivae carne arbitrantur, cum sucus omnis in 
corpus abeat Ugnumque intus grandescat. ergo tum 
maxime rigantur ; quod ubi cura multisve imbribus 
accidit, oleum absumitur nisi consecuta serenitate 
quae corpus extenuet. omnino enim, ut Theo- 
phrasto placet, et olei causa calor est, quare in torcu- 

11 laribus etiam ac ceUis multo igni quaeritur. tertia 
est culpa in parsimonia, quoniam propter inpendium 
decerpendi expectatur ut decidant olivae. qui 
medium temperamentum in hoc servant perticis de- 
cutiunt cura iniuria arborum sequentisque anni 
damno ; quippe oUvantibus lex antiquissima fuit : 

12 oleam ne stringito neve verberato. qui cautissime 
agunt harundine levi ictu nec adversos percutiunt 
ramos ; sic quoque alternare fructus cogitur decussis 
germinibus, nec minus si expectetur ut cadant ^ ; 

^ V.l. ab . . . exortu. 

2 Mayhojf : cum si etiam copiosiores. 
^ Mayhoff : cadat. 

294 



BOOK XV. III. 9 12 

increase until the rising of the Bear-ward, that is till 
September 16 ; afterwards the increase is in the size 
of the stones and the flesh. At this stage if rain 
follows in actually larn^e quantities, the oil is spoiled 
and turns into lees. The colour of these lces makes 
the ohve-oil turn black, and consequently when there 
is only a tinge of black beginning it contains very 
little lees, and before any blackness shows none at 
all. People are quite mistaken in supposing what is 
rcally the near approach of decay to be the beginning 
of ripening, and it is also a mistake to imagine that 
the amount of oil is increased by the growth of the 
flesh of the oHve, since all the juice is then going jnto 
a sohd form and the woody interior is getting bigger. 
It is on this account that oHve-trees are watered 
most plentifully at this period, but watering, whether 
done intentionally or occurring from repeated falls 
of rain, uses up the oil, unless fine weather foUows to 
diminish the solid part of the berry. For, as Theo- 
phrastus holds, the cause of oil as of other things is 
entirely warmth, and this is why steps are taken to 
produce warmth even in the presses and the cellars 
by h*ghting large fires. A third mistake is in over- 
economy, as owing to the cost of picking people wait 
for the oHves to faH. Those who compromise on a 
middle course in this matter knock the fruit down 
wilh poles, so injuring the trees and causing loss in 
the foHowing year ; in fact there was a very old regu- 
lation for the oHve harvest : ' Neither strip nor beat 
an oHve-tree.' Those who proceed most carefuHy use 
a reed and strike the branches with a Hght sideway 
blow ; but even this method causes the tree to pro- 
duce fruit only every other year, as the buds get 
knocked ofF, and this is no less the case if people 

295 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

haerendo enim ultra suum tempus absumunt veni- 
entibus alimentum et detinent locum : argimientum 
est quod nisi ante favonium coUectae novas vires 
resumunt et difficilius cadunt. 

13 IV. Prima^ ergo ab autumno colligitur vitio operae,^ 
non naturae, posia cui plurimum carnis, mox orchites 
cui olei, post radius. has enim ocissime occupatas,^ 
quia sunt tenerrimae, amurca cogit decidere. 
difFeruntur vero etiam in Martium mensem callosae, 
contra umorem pugnaces ob idque minimae, Licinia, 
Cominia, Contia, Sergia, quam Sabini regiam vocant, 
non ante favonii adflatum nigrescentis, hoc est a. d. 

14 VI id. Feb. tunc arbitrantur eas maturescere, et 
quoniam probatissimum ex his fiat oleum, accedere 
etiam ratio pravitati videtur; feruntque frigore 
austeritatem fieri sicut copiam maturitate, cum sit 
illa bonitas non temporis, sed generis tarde putre- 
scentium in amurcam. similis error coUectam ser- 
vandi in tabulatis nec prius quam sudet premendi, 
cum omni mora oleum decrescat, amurca augeatur. 
itaque volgo non amplius senas Hbras singuUs modiis 
exprimi dicunt : amurcae mensuram nemo agit, 



^ primae Mayhoff. 

2 Gelen : opere. 

^ V.l. ©ccupat estas (aestas edd.). 



296 



BOOK XV. III. I2-IV. 14 

wait for the olives to fall off, for by remaining attached 
to the branches beyond their proper time they use 
up the nourishment for the coming crop and occupy 
its place : this is proved by the fact that if they are 
not gathered before the west wind blows they acquire 
renewed strength and fall off with greater difficulty. 

IV. Well then, the first oHve gathered after the Varietirsof 
beginning of autumn is the posia, which owing to a yit^ngami 
faulty method of cultivation and not to any fault of -^<^'^"'"'"?- 
nature, is a very fleshy fruit ; next the orchites, 
which contains a great deal of oil, and after that the 
radius. For as these oUves are very deUcate the lees 
in them very quickly gets hold of them and cause 
them to fall off. But the gathering of the hard- 
skinned oHves, which strongly resist damp and conse- 
quently are very small, is put off even till the month 
of March , the Licinian, Cominian, Contian and Sergian 
kinds, the last called by the Sabines the * royal oHvc,' 
not turning black before the west wind blows, that 
is before February 8. It is thought that they begin 
to ripen then, and as a very excellent oil is made 
from them reason also appears to reinforce this mis- 
take ; and people say that the cold causes harshness 
in the oil in the same degree as the ripening of the 
berry increases the quantity, whereas in reaUty the 
goodness of the oil is not a matter of the time of 
gathering but of the kind of ohve, which is slow in 
decaying into lees. A similar mistake is made in 
keeping the oHves when gathered on wooden shelves 
and not crushing them tih they sweat out juice, 
inasmuch as aH delay diminishes the yiekl of oil and 
increases the quantity of lees. The consequence is 
the common assertion that a peck of oHves yields 
only six pounds of oil ; but nobody measures the 

297 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

quanto ea copiosior reperiatur in eodem genere diebus 

15 adiectis. omnino invictus error et publicus tumore 
olivae crescere oleum existimandi, cum praesertim 
nec magnitudine copiam olei constare indicio sint 
quae regiae vocantur, ab aliis maiorinae, ab aliis 
babbiae, grandissimae alioqui, minimo suco, et in 
Aegypto carnosissimis olei exiguum, Decapoli vero 
Syriae perquam parvae nec cappari maiores carne 

16 tamen commendentur.^ quam ob causam Italicis 
transmarinae praeferuntur in cibis, cum oleo vin- 
cantur, et in ipsa Italia ceteris Picenae et Sidicinae. 
sale illae privatim condiuntur et ut reliquae amurca 
sapave, nec non aliquae oleo suo et sine arcessita 
commendatione purae innatant, colymbades; fran- 
guntur eaedem lierbarumque viridium sapore con- 
diuntur. fiunt et praecoces ferventi aqua perfusae 
quamlibeat immaturae ; mirumque dulcem sucum 

17 olivas bibere et alieno sapore infici. purpureae sunt 
et in his, ut uvis, in nigrum colorem transeuntibus 
posiis. sunt et superbae praeter iam dicta genera ; 
sunt et praedulces, per se tantum siccatae uvisque 

1 Rackhara : commendantur. 
298 



BOOK XV. IV. 14-17 

quantitv of lees, to discover how much larger an 
amount is found in the same kind of oHve with every 
day that is added. There is an entirely unconquer- 
able and widely prevalent mistake which supposes 
that the swelHng of the oHve increases the amount of 
the oil, in spite of the fact that the absence of con- 
nexion between the size of the berry and its yield 
of oil is proved by the oHves caUed ' royal oHves, 
and by some people * large-size oHves,' and by others 
' babbiae ' — but anyhow a very large oHve with very 
Httle juice, and also that the very fleshy oHves in 
Egypt produce a scanty amount of oil, while the 
extremely small oHves at DecapoHs in Syria, not 
larger than a caper, nevertheless have an attractive 
flesh. It is on this account that imported oHves are 
preferred for the table to those grown in Italy, in 
spite of their being inferior for making oil, and in 
Italy itself the oHves of Picenum and the Sidicini are 
preferred to aU the other kinds. Those oHves are 
kept separate and steeped in salt, as weH as in lees 
or boiled must Hke the rest, and also some of them 
are left floating in their own oil and clean, without 
any adventitious attraction — the kind caHed in Greek 
* swimmers ' ; these oHves are also crushed and then 
seasoned with a flavouring of green herbs. OHves 
however unripe are actually made to ripen early by 
pouring boiHng water on them ; and it is surprising 
how oHves suck up a sweet juice and take on a flavour 
that does not belong to them. As with grapes, so 
also among oHves there are purple varieties, the posia 
almost shading off into black. Beside the kinds 
already mentioned there is also the ' proud oHve,' as 
weH as the very sweet variety, which is merely 
dried by itself and is sweeter than a raisin ; this 

299 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

passis diilciores, admodum rarae in Africa et circa 
Emeritam Lusitaniae. 

18 Oleum ipsum sale vindicatur a pinguitudinis vitio. 
cortice oleae conciso odorem accipit : medicatio alia 
ut vino, palati gratia nulla est. nec tam numerosa 
difFerentia; tribus ut plurimum bonitatibus distat. 
odor in tenui argutior, et is tamen etiam in optimo 
brevis. 

19 V. Oleo natura tepefacere coi-pus et contra algores 
munire, eidem fervores capitis refrigerare. usum 
eius ad luxuriam vertere Graeci vitiorum omnium 
genitores in gymnasiis publicando ; notum est magis- 
tratus honoris eius octogenis sestertiis strigmenta 
olei vendidisse. oleae honorem Romana maiestas 
magnum perhibuit turmas equitum idibus luliis ea ^ 
coronando, item minoribus triumphis ovantes. 
Athenae quoque victores olea coronant, Graecia 
olcastro Olympiae. 

20 VI. Nunc dicentur Catonis placita de oUvis. in 
calido et pingui solo radium maiorem, Sallentinam, 
orchitem,posiam, Sergianam, Cominianam, albiceram 
seri iubet, adicitque singulari prudentia quam earum 

1 MayhofJ : ex ea. 



" Alagistrattis honoris eius is a rendering of yv^iaaLdpxai. 

^ I.e. the oil scraped off the athletes' bodies with a strigil. 

" On this day the equites were reviewed by the censors, and 
ater by the emperors. 

•* In an ovatio the victorious general entered the city on 
foot, and not in a chariot, as at a proper triumphus. 

300 



BOOK XV. IV. 17-VI. 20 

last kiiul of olive is rather rare, and is grown in 
Arrica and in the vicinity of Merida in Lusitania. 

The actual oil can be guarded against the defect of 
thickeninjr bv the addition of salt. An aromatic 
scent can be given to the oil by making an incision in 
the bark of the tree ; but any other mode of season- 
ing, Uke those used for wine, is no gratification to 
the palate. Nor are there so many varieties of oHve- 
oil as there are of wine, there being at most three 
different grades of excellence. In fine oil the odour 
is more penetrating, though this is short-Uved even 
in the best kind. 

V. OUve-oil has the property of imparting warmth cses of 
to the body and protecting it against cold, and also ''^"^"" 
that of cooUng the head when heated. Those 
parents of aU the vices, the Greeks, have diverted 
the use of oUve-oil to serve the purpose of luxury by 
making it a regular practice in their gymnasiums ; 
the governors of those institutions ° have been known 
to seU the scrapings of the oil * for 80,000 sesterces. 
The majesty of Rome has bestowed great honour on 
the oUve-tree by decorating our cavalry squadrons 
with wreaths of oUve on July 15,*^ and also when they 
are celebrating a minor triumph.'^ Athens also 
crowns victorious athletes with oUve wTeaths, and 
Greece the victors at Olympia with wreaths of wild 
oUve. 

\T. We wiU now state tUe rules given by Cato in RuUsofCato 
respect of olives. In a warm and ricU soil he recom- pr^-owin^'' 
mends planting the larger radius oUve, tUe SaUentine, sK^nn^ and 
the orchites, the posia, the Sergian, the Cominian Sivj?,"^ 
and the wax-white, and he adds with remarkable 
wisdom that the one among these pronounced in the 
particular locaUties to be the best should be used ; 

301 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

in iis locis optimam esse dicant,^ in frigido autem et 
macro Liciniam ; pingui enim aut ferventi vitiari eius 
oleum arboremque ipsa fertilitate consumi, musco 

21 praeterea et rubore infestari. spectare oliveta in 
favonium loco exposito solibus censet, nec alio ullo 
modo laudat. condi olivas optime orchites et 
posias vel virides in muria vel fractas in lentisco. 
oleum quam acerbissima oliva optimum fieri. cetero 
quamprimum e terra coUigendam, si inquinata sit, 
lavandam, siccari triduo satis esse ; si gelent frigora, 
quarto die premendam ; hanc et sale aspergi. oleum 
in tabulato minui deteriusque fieri, item in amurca et 

22 fracibus — hae sunt carnes et inde faeces; quare 
saepius die capulandura, praeterea concha ^ et in 
plumbeas cortinas : aere vitiari. ferventibus omnia 
ea fieri clausisque torcularibus et quam minime 
ventilatis, ideo nec ligna ibi caedi oportere (qua de 
causa e nucleis ipsarum ignis aptissimus) ; ex cortinis 
in labra fundendimi, ut fraces et amurca linquantur : 
ob id crebrius vasa mutanda, fiscinas spongia tergen- 



^ Edd. (dicent Mayhojf) : dicens aut dicunt. 
^ Mueller : concham. 



302 



BOOK XV. VI. 20-22 

while he recommends planling the Licinian oHve in 
a cold and thin st)il, for the reason that rich or warm 
earth ruins its oil and the tree gets exhausted by 
its mere fertihty, and moreover is attacked by moss 
and red rust. He advises that oUve-yards should be 
in a position exposcd to the sun and facing west, and 
he does not approve of any other arrangement. He 
says that the best way of preserving orchites and 
posia oHves is either to put them in brine when they 
are green or to crush them and store them in mastic 
oil ; the best oHve-oil is made from the bitterest 
olive obtainable ; for the rest the oHves should be 
coHected olf the ground as soon as possible, and 
washed if they are dirty ; it is enough to leave 
them to dry for three days, and if the weather is 
cold and frosty they must be pressed on the fourth 
day, and when pressed they should be sprinkled 
with salt. OHves kept on a boarded floor lose oil 
and it deteriorates in quaHty, and the same 
happens if the oil is left on the lees and the 
grounds — these are the flesh of the olive and 
produce the dregs ; consequently it should be ladled 
several times a day, and moreover this must be done 
with a shell and into leaden caldrons, as copper 
spoils it. AU these operations, he says, must be 
carried on with presses that have been heated and 
tightly closed, admitting as Httle air as possible, and 
therefore also no wood should be cut there (and con- 
sequently the most suitable fire is made with the 
stones of the oUves themselves) ; the oil must be 
poured out of the caldrons into vats, so as to leave 
behind the grounds and the lees : for this purpose the 
vessels must be changed fairly frequently and the 
osier baskets wiped with a sponge, so that so far as 

3^3 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

das, ut quam maxime pura sinceritas constet. 

23 postea inventum ut lavarentur utique ferventi aqua, 
protinus prelo subicerentur solidae — ita enim amurca 
exprimitur — mox trapetis fractae premerentur ite- 
rum. premi plus quam centenos modios non pro- 
bant ^ ; factus vocatur, quod vero post molam primum 
expressum est, flos. factus tres gemino foro a 
quaternis hominibus nocte et die premi iustum est. 

24 VII. Non erat tum ficticium oleum, ideoque 
arbitror de eo nihil a Catone dictum. nunc eius 
genera plura ; primumque persequemur ea quae ex 
arboribus fiunt, et inter illas ante omnis ex oleastro. 
tenue id multoque amarius quam oleae et tantum 
ad medicamenta utile. simillimum huic est ex 
chamelaea, frutice saxoso, non altiore pahiio, fohis 

25 oleastri bacisque. proximum fit e ^ cici, arbore in 
Aegypto copiosa — aUi crotonem, ahi sibi,^ aUi sesa- 
mon silvestre eam appeUant — ibique, non pridem 
et in Hispania, sponte * provenit altitudine oleae, 
caule ferulaceo, foUo vitium, semine uvarum graci- 
Uum paUidarumque ; nostri eam ricinum vocant a 
simiUtudine seminis. coquitur id in aqua inna- 
tansque oleum toUitur. at in Aegypto, ubi abundat, 

' ^ probat? Rackham. 

2 Mayhoff: et. 

3 V.l. sybi, sive (sili, i.e. alaeXe, cf. vm 112, Sillig). 
* Dalec. : repente. 



" Foruniy the part of the press in wbich the oUves or grapes 
were laid. Varro R.B. I. 54, 2. 
* KiKi, the castor-oil plant. 



BOOK XV. VI. 22-vii. 25 

possible coniplete cleanlincss niay be produced. It 
was a later discovery, he says, to wash the olives in 
absolutely boiHng water, ancl at once put theni whole 
into the press — for that method crushes out the lees 
— and then to crush them in oil-mills and put them 
under the press a second time. People do not 
approve of pressing more than a hundred pecks of 
olives at a time : this is called a * batch,' and what is 
squeezed out first after the millstone is called the 
* flower.' It is a fair amount for three batches to be 
pressed in tw enty-four hours by gangs of four men 
using a double holder." 

\'II. At that time there was no artificial oil, and Artxficiai 
that I take to be the reason why Cato says nothing fomuo^'^ 
about it. At the present time there are severaUf<i'f«a'»^ 
varieties of it ; and we will treat first of those kinds t^eT ^ 
which are produced from trees, and among them 
before all from the wild oUve. It is a thin oil, and 
has a much more bitter flavour than the oil obtained 
from the cultivated oHve, and it is only useful for 
medicines. Very closely resembling this oil is the 
oil obtained from the ground-oUve, a rock shrub not 
rnore than three inches high, with leaves and fruit 
Uke those of the wild oUve. The next class of oil is 
that obtained from the cici,'' a tree growing in great 
abundance in Egypt — others call it the croton, others 
sibi, others wild sesame — and there, as weU as not 
long ago in Spain also, it grows wild, shooting up as 
high as an oUve-tree, with a stalk Uke that of the 
fennel, the leaf of a vine, and a seed-pod Uke a 
slender grape of a pale colour : our countrymen caU 
it the tick, from the resemblance of the seed-pod to 
that insect. It is boiled in water and the oil floating 
on the surface is skimmed off. But in Egypt, where 

305 



PLINY: NATUllAL HISTORY 

sine igni et aqua sale asperso ^ exprimitur, cibis 

26 foedum, luccrnis exile. amygdalinum, quod aliqui 
neopum vocant, ex amaris nucibus arefactis et in 
offam contusis aspersam '^ aqua iterumque tusis ex- 
primitur. fit et e ^ lauru admixto drupparum oleo : 
quidam* bacis exprimunt tantum, alii foliis modo, 
aliqui folio et cortici ^ bacarum, nec non styracem 
addunt aliosque odores. optima laurus ad id lati- 

27 folia silvestris nigris bacis. simile est et e myrto 
nigra, et haec latifolia melior. tunduntur bacae 
aspersae calida aqua, mox decoquntur. alii folio- 
rum moUissima decoqunt in oleo et exprimunt, alii 
deiecta ea in oleum prius sole maturant. eadem 
ratio et in sativa myrto, sed praefertur silvestris 
minore semine, quam quidam oxymyrsinen, alii 
chamaemyrsinen vocant, aUqui acoron a simihtudine ; 
est enim brevis, fruticosa. 

28 Fit et e citro, cupresso, nucibus iuglandibus quod 
caryinum vocant, mahs, cedro quod pisselaeon, e 
grano quoque Cnidio purgato semine et tunso, item 
lentisco. nam et cyprinum et e glande Aegyptia ut 
fierent ® odorum causa dictum est. Indi e castaneis 



^ asperso (sc. semini) ? Mayhoff : aapersum. 

•^ Mayhojf : aspersum. 

^ e add. Rackham. 

* quidam ? Mayhojf : quidamque e. 

^ V .1. cortice. 

^ Rackham : fieret. 



" Perhaps the sweet-flag or calamus. 
^- From Kapvov, a walnut. 
•^ ' Pitch-oil,' from iriaaa and eAaiov. 
* The seed of the mczereon. 

306 



BOOK XV. VII. 25-28 

it abounds, fire and water are not employed, but salt 
is sprinkled on the pod and the oil is pressed out ; 
for food it is disgusting, and it is of thin quahty for 
burning in lamps. Amygdahnum, which some people 
call neopum, is pressed out of bitter almonds, dried 
and pounded into a cake that is sprinkled with water 
and then pounded again. An oil is also made from 
the bay-tree with an admixture of the oil of half-ripe 
ohves ; some people merely press the oil out of the 
berries, others use only the leaves, and some the leaf 
and the outer skin of the berries, and also add styrax 
gum and other scents. The best kind of bay-tree 
for this is the broad-leaved wild laurel with black 
berries. A similar oil also comes from the black 
inyrtle, and the broad-leaved variety of this is the 
best. The berries are sprinkled with hot water and 
pounded, and then boiled down. Other people boil 
down the softest of the leaves in oil and press out the 
hquid, and others steep them in oil and allow them 
to mature in the sun before putting them in the press. 
The same method is also used in the case of the 
cultivated myrtle, but the wild variety with a smaller 
pod is preferred, the kind which certain people call 
oxymyrsine, others ground-myrsine, and some 
acorum " because of its resemblance to that plant, 
as it grows low and bushy. 

Oil is also made from the citrus and the cypress, Otherirees 
from walnuts — this is called caryinum,'' from apples ^ed^fo"^'' 
and from the cedar called pisselaeon ; '^ also from grain "^cf^"^ "«'• 
of Cnidus ^ by cleaning and pounding the seed, and 
hkewise from mastich. As for the method of making 
cypros-oil and also oil from an Egyptian berry for 
the purpose of scents, we have spoken of it already. xii. 100. 
The Indians are said to make oils from chestnuts and ^^^* 

307 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

ac sesima atque oryza facere dicuntur, Ichthyophagi 

29 e piscibus. inopia cogit aliquando himinum causa 
et e platani bacis ficri aqua et sale maceratis. et 
oenanthinum fit — de ipsa oenanthe dictum est in 
unguentis. gleucino mustum incoquitur vapore lento, 
ab ahis sine igni circumdatis vinaceis diebus xxi bis 
singuhs permixtum, consumiturque mustum oleo. 
ahqui non sampsuchum tantum admiscent sed etiam 
pretiosiora odoramenta, ut ^ in gymnasiis quoque 

30 conditur odoribus, sed vihssimis. fit et ex aspalatho, 
calamo, balsamo, iri, cardamomo, mehloto, nardo 
GaUico, panace, sampsucho, helenio, cinnamomi 
radice, omnium sucis in oleo maceratis expressisque. 
sic et rhodinum a rosis, iuncinum e iunco quod est 
rosaceo similhmum, item hyoscyamo et lupinis, 
narcisso. plurimum autem in Aegypto e raphani se- 
mine aut graminis ^ herba ^ quod chortinon vocant, 

31 item e sesima et urtica quod cnidinum appellant. e 
hho et ahbi fit sub diu sole, luna, pruina maceratum. 
suis herbis componunt inter Cappadociam et Gala- 
tiam quod Selgiticum vocant, nervis admodum utile, 
sicut in Itaha Iguvini. e pice fit quod pissinum 
appehant, cum coquitur, velleribus supra hahtum 

^ Mayhoff : ni. * Rackham : gramine. 

^ V.l. herbae. 



From \6pTos, grass. 
From Kvih], nettle. 



308 



BOOK XV. VII. 28-31 

sesame and rice, and the Fish-eater tribes from fish. 
Scarcity sometimes compels people to make oil for 
lamps even out of the berries of the plane-tree by 
steeping them in water and salt. There is also an 
oil made from the wild vine — we have spoken about 
the plant itself while dealing with perfumes. For ^^^- ^^^- 
gleucinum must is boiled in oil with a slow heat, but 
other makers do not use fire but leave the jar packed 
round with grape-skins for three weeks, stirring up 
the mixture twice a day, and the must becomes 
absorbed by the oil. Some people mix in not only 
marjoram but also more expensive scents, just as 
the oil used in the gymnastic schools is also perfumed 
with scents, though of a very poor quaUty. Oil is 
also made from aspalathus, reed, balsam, iris, 
cardamomum, meUlot, GalUc nard, all-heal, mar- 
joram. helenixim, and cinnamomum root, by steep 
ing aU these plants in oil and then pressing out the 
juices. Similarly also rose-oil is made from roses, 
and rush-oil, which is very similar to oil of roses, from 
the sweet rush, and Ukewise oils are extracted from 
henbane and from lupins and narcissus. A very large 
amount is obtained in Egypt from radish seed or from 
the blade of the grass caUed chortinon," and Ukewise 
from sesame and from the nettle caUed cnidinum.* 
In other places also an oil is made from UUes, which 
is left in the open air to steep in the sunUght and 
moonUght and frost. On the border of Cappadocia 
and Galatia they make from native herbs an oil caUed 
Selgitic oil, of considerable vahie for the tendons ; 
and the same oil is made in Italy by the people of 
Gubbio. From pitch is made an oil caUed pitch-oil ; 
while the pitch iskepton theboil,fleecesare stretched 
above the steam rising from it and then wrung out. 

309 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

eius expansis atque ita expressis, probatum maxime e 
Bruttia; est enim pinguissima et resinosissima. 

32 color oleo fulvus. sponte nascitur in Syriae maritimis 
quod elaeomeli vocant. manat ex arboribus pingue, 
crassius melle, resina tenuius, sapore dulci, utile^ et 
hoc medicis. veteri quoque oleo usus est ad quaedam 
genera morborum, existimaturque et ebori vindicando 
a carie utile esse : certe simulacrum Saturni Romae 
intus oleo repletum est. 

33 VIII. Super omnia vero celebravit amurcam 
laudibus Cato : dolia olearia cadosque illa imbui ne 
bibant oleum ; amurca subigi areas terendis messibus 
ut formicae rimaeque absint ; quin et lutmn parietum 
ac tectoria et pavimenta horreorum frumenti, 
vestiaria etiam contra teredines ac noxia animalium 
amurca adspergi, semina frugum perfundi. morbis 
quadripedum, arborum quoque illa medendum, 
efficace ad ulcera interiora humani quoque oris. 

34 lora etiam et coria omnia et calceamina axesque de- 
cocta ungui, atque aeramenta contra aeruginem 
colorisque gratia elegantioris, et totam supcllectilem 
ligneam ac vasa fictilia in quis ficum aridam Ubeat 
adservare, aut si folia bacasque in virgis myrti aHudve 
quod genus simile. postremo ligna macerata amurca 
nullo fumi taedio ardere. 

* utile add. Warmington. 

" From lAatoi', olive-oil and /xeAi, honey. 
310 



BOOK XV. viT. 31-V11T. 34 

The most apppoved kind comes from the Bruttian 
land ; the pitch there is very rich and full of resin. 
The colour of pitch-oil is reddish yellow. There is an 
oil that grows of its own accord in thc coastal parts 
of Syria called elaeomeli." It is a rich oil that trickles 
from trees, of a substance thicker than honey but 
thinner than resin, and having a sweet flavour ; this 
also is used by the doctors. There is also a use of 
old olive-oil for certain kinds of diseases, and it is 
also deemed to be serviceable for preserving ivory 
from decay : at all events, the inside of the statue of 
Saturn at Rome has been filled with oil. 

Vm. But it is above all to the lees of oHve-oil that ^'«^ 0/ 
Cato has devoted his praises : he tells how vats and S.^^cxxx, 
casks to hold oil are steeped in lees to prevent their xt;i-ff- 
soaking up the oil ; how threshing-floors are given a 
dressing of lees to keep away ants and to prevent 
cracks ; and moreover how the clay of the walls and 
the plaster and flooring of granaries, and even cup- 
boards for clothes, are sprinkled with lees, and how 
seed-corn is steeped in them, as a protection 
against wood-worms and injurious insects. He speaks 
of its use as a remedy for diseases of animals and also 
of trees, and also as a specific against ulceration of 
the mouth in human beings. He says that reins and 
all leather articles, and shoes and the axles of wheels 
are greased with boiled lees, and so are copper 
vessels to keep off verdigris and to give them a 
more attractive colour, and all wooden utensils and 
earthenware jars used for keeping dried figs in, or 
it may be sprays of myrtle with their leaves and 
berries on them or anything else of a similar kind. 
Finally he states that logs of wood steeped in olive- 
lees will burn without any annoying smoke. 



PLINY; NATURAL HISTORY 

Oleam si lambendo capra lingua contigerit de- 
paveritque primo germinatu, sterilescere auctor est 
M. Varro. 

Et hactenus de olea atque oleo. 

35 IX. Reliqui arborum fructus vix specie figurave, 
non modo saporibus sucisque, totiens permixtis atque 
insitis, enumerari queunt. 

Grandissimus pineis nucibus altissimeque sus- 
pensuSj intus exiles nucleos lacunatis includit toris, 
vestitos alia ferruginis tunica, mira naturae cura 
molliter semina conlocandi. harum genus alterum 
Tarentinae digitis fragili putamine aviumque furto 

36 in arbore. et tertium sappiniae ^ e picea sativa, 
nucleorum cute verius quam putamine adeo moUi ut 
simul mandatur. quartum pityida ^ vocant e pina- 
stris, singularis remedii adversus tussim in melle 
decoctis nucleis : Taurini ravicelos vocant. pinea 
corona victores apud Isthmum coronantur. 

37 X. His proxima amplitudine mala quae vocamiLs 
cotonea et Graeci cydonea ex Creta insula advecta. 
incurvatos trahunt ramos prohibentque crescere 
parentem. plura eorum genera : chrysomela in- 
cisuris distincta colore ad aurum inchnato, qui 

^ Hardouin : sappini. 
* Hermolaus : pitydia. 

" From ravus, ' hoarse.' 

* From Cydonea, now Canea, a city in Crete. The Latin 
name is merely a perversion of the Greek. 

312 



BOOK XV. VIII. 34-x. 37 

Accordinff to Marcus Varro an olive-lrec which has RR- 100. 
been merely hcked by the tongue of a she-goat or 
which she has nibbled when it was first budding goes 
barren. 

So far in regard to the oHve and oHve-oil. 

IX. The rest of the fruits produced by trees can otherfruu 
scarcely be enumerated by their appearance or ""^"' 
shape, let alone by their flavours and juices, which 

have been so frequently modified by crossing and 
grafting. 

The largest fruit and the one that hangs highest Pinenutt. 
is that of pine-cones, which encloses inside it 
small kernels lying in fretted beds and clothed in 
another coat of rusty colour, showing the marvellous 
care that Nature takes to provide seeds with a soft 
place to Ue in. A second class of pine-cones is that 
of the Taranto pine, whicli has a shell that can be 
broken in the fingers and which is rifled by the birds 
while on the tree. A third kind is that of the 
sappinia-cone which grows on the cultivated pitch- 
pine, the kernels ofwhich have such a soft husk, or 
rather skin, that it is eaten with them. A fourth kind 
is called pityis, growing on wild pines, which provides 
an exceptionally good remedy against a cough when 
the keriiels are boiled in honey ; the people of Turin 
call them raviceli." The winners in the games at the 
Isthmus are crowned with a wreath of pine leaves. 

X. The fruit next to these in size is the one that Q^inces. 
we call the quince and the Greeks cydoneum,^ which 

was introduced from the island of Crete. This fruit 
drags down the boughs in a curve and checks the 
growth of the parent tree. There are several kinds 
of quinces : the ' golden apple ' is cleft with incisions 
and has a colour verging on gold, a brighter tinge 

voL. Tv. 1 313 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

candidior nostratia cognominat, odoris praestantis- 

38 simi. est et Neapolitanis suus honos. minora ex 
eodem genere struthea odoratius vibrant, serotino 
proventu, praecoci vero mustea. strutheis autem 
cotonea insita suum genus fecere Mulvianum, quae 
sola ex his vel cruda manduntur, iam et virorum 
salutatoriis cubiculis inclusa ac simulacris noctium 
consciis inposita. sunt praeterea parva silvestria, 
e strutheis odoratissima et in saepibus nascentia. 

39 XI. Mala appellamus, quamquam diversi generis, 
Persica et granata, quae in Punicis arboribus novem 
generum dicta sunt. his acinus sub cortice intus, 
iUis lignum in coi^pore. nec non et quaedam e 
piris libraHa appellata ampUtudinem sibi ponderis 
nomine adserunt. sed Persicorum palma duracinis ; 
nationum habent cognomen GaUica et Asiatica. 

40 post autumnum matui-escunt Asiatica, aestate prae- 
cocia intra xxx annos reperta et primo denariis 
singula venumdata. supernatia e Sabinis veniunt, 
popularia undique. pomum innocuum expetitur 
aegris, pretiumque iam singuUs triceni nummi fuere, 
nuUius maiore, quod miremur, quia non aUud fuga- 



" I.e., apparently, malum aureum. 

* I.e. statues of deities standing in bedrooms. 

' Ihe Adriatic sea was called Mare Superum, * Upper Sea '. 



314 



BOOK XV. X. 37-xi. 40 

of which gives a name " to our native quince, and 
has an exquisite scent. The Naples quince is 
also highly esteemed. The smaller varicty of the 
same kind, the sparrow-apple, gives out a rather 
pungent smell, and ripens late, whereas the must- 
quince ripens very early. Grafting the ordinary 
quince on the sparrow-apple has produced a 
special kind, the Alulvian quince, which is the only 
one of the quinces that is eaten even raw ; these at 
the present day are kept shut up in gentlemen's 
reception-rooms, and are placed on the statues that 
share our nights with us.'' There is also a small wild 
quince, the scent of which is the most powerful next 
to that of the sparrow-apple and which grows in 
the hedges. 

XI. We give the name of apples, although they Peachesand 
really belong to a different kind, to peaches and to ?^'^^«"<«'^^ 
pomegranates, of which we have specified nine kinds xiii. 112. 
among the trees of Carthage. Pomegranates con- 
tain a kernel enclosed in a skin, but peaches have a 
hard stone inside them. Moreover one variety of 
pear called the pound pear asserts by its name 
the largeness of its weight. But the palm among 
poaches belongs to the nectarine : the GalUc and the 
Asiatic varieties are named after their nationaUties. 
The Asiatic peach ripens at the end of autumn, 
though an early variety ripens in summer — these 
were discovered within the last thirty years, and were 
at first sold for a denarius apiece. The Adriatic « 
peach comes from Samnium, but the common peach 
grows everywhere. It is a harmless fruit, in demand 
for invaUds, and peaches have before now fetched 
thirty sesterces each, a price exceeded by no other 
fruit — which may surprise us, because there is none 

315 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

cius: longissima namque decerpto bidui mora est 
cogitque se venumdari. 

41 XII. Ingens postea turba prunorum : versicoloria 
e nigro candicant,^ hordearia appellata a comitatu 
frugis eias; alia eodem colore seriora maioraque, 
asinina cognominata a vilitate. sunt minora at ^ 
laudatiora cerina atque purpurea, nec non ab externa 
gente Armeniaca, quae sola et odore commendantur. 
peculiaris inpudentia est nucibus insitorum quae 
faciem parentis sucumque adoptionis exhibent, 

42 appellata ab utroque nucipruna. et haec autem et 
Persica et cerina ac silvestria ut uvae cadis condita 
usque ad aha nascentia aetatem sibi prorogant, 
reliquorum velocitas cito mitescentium transvolat. 
nuper in Baetica mahna appellari coeperunt mahs 
insita et aha amygdahna amygdahs: his intus in 
hgno nucleus amygdalae est, nec ahud pomum ingeni- 

43 osius geminatum est. in peregrinis arboribus dicta 
sunt Damascena a Syriae Damasco cognominata, 
iam pridem in Itaha nascentia, grandiore quamquam 
hgno et exihore carne nec umquam in rugas siccata, 
quoniam soles sui desunt. simul dici possunt popu- 



1 Sillig : versicolori nigra candicans aut v.n. candida. 

2 Mayhoff : sunt ac nigra ac. 



316 



BOOK XV. XI. 40-xii. 43 

which keeps worse : the longest time that it will last 
after bcing plucked is two days, and it compels you 
to put it on the market. 

XII. Afterwards comes a vast crowd of plums. Piums;tweiv 
There is the parti-coloured plum, partly black and ^*^'** 
partly white in colour, which is called the barley-phim 
because it ripens at barley harvest ; and another 
plum of the same colour, which is later and is larger in 
size, called the donkey-plum from its inferior vahie. 
The wax-plum and the purple plum are smaller in 
size but more esteemed ; and there is also the 
Armenian plum, imported from foreign parts, the c/. xvi. 
only plum that recommends itself even by its scent. ^^^* 
Plums grafted on a nut-tree show a remarkable 
effrontery, displaying the appearance of the parent 
tree and the juice of the adopted stock ; they take 
their name from each, being cailed nut-plums. But 
both the nut-plum and the peach and the wax-plum 
and the wild plum, if stored in casks like grapes, will 
prolong their hfe till another crop begins to come into 
existence, but the remaining varieties, ripening 
quickly, speedily pass off. Recently in Baetica the 
name of apple-plum has begun to be given to plums 
grafted on apple-trees, and that of almond-plum to 
others grafted on almonds : the latter have the 
kernel of an almond inside their stone ; and indeed 
no other fruit has been more ingeniously crossed. 
Among our foreign trees, we have ah-eady spoken of 
the damson, named from Damascus in Syria ; it has 
been grown in Italy for a long time, though it 
has a larger stone and less flesh here than in its 
country of origin, and here it never dries into 
wrinkles, because it lacks its native sunshine. 
With it can be mentioned its fellow-countryman 

317 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

lares eorum myxae, quae et ipsae nunc coeperun 
Romae nasci insitae in sorbis. 

44 XIII. In totum quidem Persica peregrina etiam 
Asiae Graeciaeque esse ex nomine ipso apparet, atque 
ex Perside advecta. sed pruna silvestria ubique nasci 
certum est, quo magis miror huius pomi mentionem a 
Catone non habitara, praesertim cum condenda 

45 demonstraret quaedam et silvestria. nam Persicae 
arbores sero et cum difficultate transiere, ut quae in 
Rhodo nihil ferant, quod primum ab Aegypto earum 
fuerat hospitium. falsum est venenata cum cruciatu 
in Persis gigni et poenarum causa ab regibus translata 
in Aegyptum terra mitigata; id enim de persea 
diligentiores tradunt, quae in totum aUa est myxis 
rubentibus simihs nec extra orientem nasci voluit. 

46 eam quoque eruditiores negaverunt ex Perside 
propter supplicia translatam, sed a Perseo Memphi 
satam, et ob id Alexandrum illa coronari victores ibi 
instituisse in honorem atavi sui. semper autem folia 
habet et poma subnascentibus aliis. sed pruna 
quoque omnia post Catonem coepisse manifestum 
erit. 

47 XIV. Malorum plura sunt genera. de citreis cum 
sua arbore diximus, Medica autem Graeci vocant 



" The persea is the modern 3[imusops Schimperi, and the 
7nt/xa is the modern sebesten. 

* Instituted by Alexander in honour of the hero Perseus, son 
of Zeus, from whom he claimed descent. 

318 



BOOK XV. XII. 43 XIV. 47 

the myxa, which also lias now begun to be grown 
at Rome by being grafted on the service-tree. 

XIII. The Persian plum or peach, it is true, is Thepeach. 
shown by its very name to be an exotic even in Asia 
Minor and in Greece, and to have been introduced 

from Persia. But the wild plum is known to grow 
everywhere, which makes it more surprising that 
this fruit is not mentioned by Cato, especially as he 
pointed out the way of storing some wild fruits also. 
As for the peach-tree, it was only introduced lately, 
and that with difficulty, inasmuch as in Rhodes, which 
was its first place of sojourn after leaving Egypt, it 
does not bear at all. It is not true that the peach 
grown in Persia is poisonous and causes torturing 
pain, and that, when it had been transplanted into 
Egypt by the kings to use as a punishment, the nature 
of the soil caused it to lose its dangerous properties ; 
for the more careful writers relate this of the persea," 
which is an entirely different tree, resembling the 
red myxa, and which has refused to grow anywhere 
but in the east. The sebesten also, according to the 
more learned authorities, was not introduced from 
Persia for punitive pui*poses, but was planted at 
Memphis by Perseus, and it was for that reason that 
Alexander, in order to do honour to his ancestor, 
established the custom of using wreaths of it for 
crowning victors in the garaes ^ at Memphis. It 
always has leaves and fruit upon it, fresh ones sprout- 
ing immediately after the others. But it will be 
obvious that all our plums also have been introduced 
since the time of Cato. 

XIV. Of the apple class there are a number of '^'"' '^ppI^ 
varieties. We have spoken of citrons when describ- varietie^""'^ 
ing the citron-tree ; the Greeks, however, call them xiii. 103. 

319 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

patriae nomine. aeque peregrina siint zizipha et 
tuberes, quae et ipsa non pridem venere in Italiam, 
haec ex Africa, illa ex Syria. Sex. Papinius, quem 
consulem vidimus, primus utraque attulit divi 
Augusti novissimis temporibus in castris sata, bacis 
similiora quam malis, sed aggeribus praecipue 
decora, quoniam et in tecta iam silvae scandunt. 
tuberum duo genera, candidum et a colore Syricum 

48 dictum. paene peregrina sunt in uno Italiae agro 
Veroniensi nascentia quae lanata appellantur : lanugo 
ea obducit, strutheis quidem Persicisque plurima, his 
tamen peculiare nomen dedit nulla alia commenda- 
tione insignibus. 

49 XV. Reliqua cur pigeat nominatim indicare, cum 
conditoribus suis aeternam propagaverint memoriam, 
tamquam ob egregium aliquod in vita factum? nisi 
fallor, apparebit ex eo ingenium inserendi, nihilque 
tam parvum esse quod non gloriam parere possit. 
ergo habent originem a Matio Cestioque et Mallio, 
item Scaudio — quibus cotoneo insito ab Appio e 

50 Claudia gente Appiana sunt cognominata ; odor est 
his cotoneorum, magnitudo quae Scaudianis, colcr 

320 



BOOK XV. XIV. 47-xv. 50 

* Medic apples,' after their native country. Equally 
forei^n are the jujube-tree and the tuber-apple, 
which themselves also have only recently come into 
Italy, the former from Africa and the latter from 
Syria. Sextus Papinius, who was consul in our a.d. 23. 
own day, introduced each of them in the last years of 
the principate of his late Majesty Augustus, having 
grown them in his camp from sHps ; the fruit is more 
hke a berry than an apple, but the trees make a par- 
ticularly good decoration for terraces — as nowadays 
we have whole forests of vegetation growing even 
over the roofs of our houses. There are two kinds of 
tuber-apple, the white and the red Syrian, so called 
from its colour. The fruit called wool-fruit, growing 
in the district of Verona but nowhere else in Italy, is 
virtually an exotic ; it is covered with a woolly down, 
which grows also in very large quantities on the 
sparrow-quince and the peach, but which has given 
its name to this fruit in particular as it has no other 
remarkable property to recommend it. 

X\'. Why should I hesitate to indicate by name Frmt trees 
the remaining varieties of fruit, seeing that they have ducedfr^'^ 
prolonged the memory of those who estabhshed them abroad. 
for all time, as though on account of some outstanding 
achievement in hfe ? Unless I am mistaken, the 
recital will reveal the ingenuity exercised in grafting, 
and will show that nothing is so trifling as to be 
incapable of producing celebrity. Well then, there 
are kinds of fruit that have their origin from Matius 
and Cestius, from MalHus, and Hkewise from Scau- 
dius ; and on the last a member of the Claudian 
family named Appius grafted the quince, producing 
the fruit called Appian ; this has the smell of a quince, 
the size of a Scaudian apple, and a ruddy colour. 

321 



PLINY: NATURAL IIISTORY 

rubens. ac nc quis ita ^ ambitu valuisse claritatis et 
familiae putet, sunt et Sceptiana ab inventore liber- 
tino, insignia rotunditate. Cato adicit Quiriniana^ 
et quae tradit in doliis condi Scantiana. omnium 
autem nuperrime adoptata sunt parva gratissimi 
saporis quae Petisia nominantur. patrias nobi- 

51 litavere Amerina et Graecula ; cetera e causis 
traxere nomen : germanitatis cohaerentia ^ gemella 
numquam singula in fetu, colore syrica, cognatione 
melapia ; mustea a celeritate mitescendi, quae nunc 
melimela dicuntur a sapore melleo; orbiculata a 
figura orbis in rotunditatem circumacti — haec in 
Epiro primum provenisse argumento sunt Graeci 
qui Epirotica vocant, mammarum effigie ortho- 
mastia, a conditione castrati seminis quae spadonia 

52 appellant Belgae. melofoUis foUum unum, aU- 
quando et geminum, erumpit e latere medio ; celer- 
rime in rugas marcescunt pannucea ; soUde * tument 
pulmonea. est quibusdam sanguineus colos origine 
ex mori insitu tracta ; cunctis vero quae fuere a sole 
partes rubent. sunt et parva gratia saporis atque 
etiam acutiore ^ odore silvestria ; pecuUare impro- 
bae iis ^ acerbitatis convicium et vis tanta ut aciem 
gladii praestringat. dat aUis ^ farina nomen, viUssi- 

^ ita ? Mayhoff : id. 

* Pintianns : Quiriana. 

' Mayhoff : cohaerentia et. 

* solide ? Mayhoff : stolide. 

* Rdckham : acntiora. 

* Mayhoff: improbatis awnraprobitatis. 
' dat aliis Mayhoff : datis. 



Grecli for * erect teat.' 



322 



BOOK XV. XV. 50-52 

And in order that nobody may imagine that it has 
gained its position by influence due to distinction and 
family, there is also a Sceptian apple named from a 
freedman who discovered it, which is remarkable for 
its round shape. Cato also mentions a Quirinian r,r, vn. 3^ 
apple, and a Scantian which he says is stored in casks. ^^^111. 3. 
But the apple naturaUzed here most recently of all is 
a small one with a most agreeable flavour named the 
Petisian. The Amerian and the Little Greek apples 
have advertised their places of origin, but all the rest 
have derived their name from definite reasons — 
' twin ' apples from their attachment of relationship, 
as they never grow singly, the ' Syrian red ' from its 
colour, the pear-apple from its affinity ; the must- 
apple was named from its quickness in ripening, but 
is now called the honey-apple from its honey flavour ; 
the round apple from its shape, which forms an 
exact sphere — the Greeks, who call this apple the 
Epirotic apple, prove that it w^as first produced in 
Epirus ; the orthomastium " is so called from its 
resemblance to a teat, and the eunuch-apple of the 
Belgians is named from its having no pips. The 
leaf-apple has a single leaf, or occasionally a pair of 
leaves, sprouting out from the middle of its side ; the 
ragged-apple very quickly shrivels up into wrinkles ; 
the lung-apple swells in a soHd lump. Some apples 
are of the colour of blood, because they derive their 
origin from a graft of the mulberry ; but all apples are 
red in the parts that have been turned towards the 
sun. There are also wild apples with Httle attraction 
of flavour and an even sharper scent ; their special 
fault is that of horrible sourness, and it is so 
powerful that it wiU blunt the edge of a sword. 
Another apple is named ' flour-apple,' a very bad 

323 



PLINY: NATURAL IIISTORY 

mis,^ quamquam primis adventu deceqDique propcr- 
antibus. 

53 XVI. Eadem causa in piris taxatur superbiae cog- 
nomine ; parva haec, sed ocissima. e ^ cunctis autem 
Crustumia gratissima. proxima his Falerna potu, 
quoniam tanta vis suci abundat — lactere ^ hoc 
vocatur — in hisque aha colore nigro, dona * Syriae. 
reliquorum nomina aUter in aliis atque ahis locis 

54 appellantur ; sed confessis urbis vocabulis auctores 
suos nobilitavere Decimiana et ex eo tractum quod 
Pseudodecimianum vocant, Dolabelliana longissimi 
pediculi, Pomponiana cognomine mammosa, Liceri- 
ana, Seviana et quae ex his nata sunt Turraniana 
longitudine pediculi distantia, Favoniana rubra paulo 
superbis maiora, Lateriana, Aniciana postautiunnalia 
acidulo sapore iucunda. Tiberiana appellantur 
quae maxime Tiberio principi placuere ; colorantur 
magis sole grandescuntque, alioquin eadem essent 

55 quae Liceriana. patriae nomina habent serissima 
omnium Amerina, Picentina, Numantina, Alex- 
andrina, Numidiana, Graeca et in iis Tarentina, 
Signina, quae alii a colore testacea appellant, sicut 
onychina, purpurea, ab odore myrapia, laurea, 
nardina, tempore hordiaria, collo ampuUacea; et 

1 nomen, vilissimis ? Mayhoff : vilissimis nomen. 

2 e add. Mayhoff. 

3 Mayhoff: lactem. 
* Mayhoff : donant. 

" /.e. an equally early kind of pear is called the, ' proud ' 
pear. 

324 



BOOK XV. XV. 52-xvi. 55 

kind, altliough it is the earhest to conie on and 
hastens to bc picked. 

X\'I. The same charge in the case of pears is cen- P^<^rs. 
sured by the name of pride ° ; this is a small pear, but 
ripens very quickly. Of all the varieties of pear, 
however, the Crustumian is the nicest. Next to this 
are P'alernian pears, used for perry, as they contain 
such a large quantity of juice — this is called being 
* milky ' — and among these are some others of a very 
dark colour, giveii us by Syria. The names of the 
remaining varieties are designated diiferently in 
various different locahties ; but pears that have 
advertised their producers by the accepted designa- 
tions of Rome are the Decimian,and the offshoot from 
it called the Sham Decimian, the very long-stalked 
one called the DolabeUian, the kind of Pomponian 
called breast-shaped, the Licerian, the Sevian, and 
the Turranian, a variety sprung from the Sevian but 
differing in length of stalk, the Favonian, a red pear 
a httle larger than the * proud ' pear, the Laterian 
and the Anician, which comes when autumn is over 
and has an agreeably acid flavour. One pear is called 
the Tiberian, which was a special favourite of the 
Emperor Tiberius ; it is more coloured by the sun 
and grows to a larger size, but otherwise would be the 
same as the Licerian. Pears having the name of 
their place of origin are the Amerian, the latest of all 
kinds, the Picentine, the Numantine, the Alexan- 
drian, the Numidian, the Greek, a variety of which is 
the Tarentine, and the Signine, which some people 
call the tile-pear from its colour, Hke the onyx-pear 
and the purple pear ; while named from their scent 
are the myrrh-pear, the bay-leaf pear and the nard- 
pear ; named from its season the barley-pear ; from 

325 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

Coriolana, Bruttia gentilitatis causa,^ cucurbitina, 

56 acidula suci. incerta nominum causa est barbaricis 
Veneriis quae ^ colorata dicunt, regiis quae minimo 
pediculo sessilia, patriciis, vocimis, viridibus oblongis- 
que. praeterea dixit volema Vergilius a Catone 
sumpta, qui et sementiva et mustea nominat. 

57 XVII. Pars haec vitae iampridem pervenit ad colu- 
men, expertis cuncta hominibus, quippe cum VergiUus 
insitam nucibus arbutum, maUs platanum, cerasis 
ulmum dicat. nec quicquam ampUus excogitari 
potest : nuUum certe pomum novum diu iam inveni- 
tur. neque omnia insitu ^ misceri fas est, sicut nec 
spinas inseri, quando fulgura * expiari non queunt 
facile ; quotque genera insita fuerint, tot fulgm-a uno 
ictu fieri pronuntiatur. 

58 Turbinatior piris figura. in iis serotina ad hiemem 
usque in matre pendent gelu maturescentia Graeca, 
ampuUacea, laurea, sicut in maUs Amerina, Scau- 
diana. conduntur vero pira ut uvae, ac totidem 
modis, neque aUud in cadis praeterquam pruna. 
e pomis^proprietas piris quae® vinis,' simiUterque in 

1 causa add. Rackham. 

2 Mayhoff: que. 

3 Hardouin : insita. 
* V.l. fulgurata. 

^ Mayhoff : prunae. pomis. 
^ Mayhoff : que. 
' Backham: vini. 



<• Some editors have altered the unknown word vocimis to 
Voconiis, naming the pear after a family. 

" This identifieation is doubtful, but it was a large pear, a 
' handful ' [vola, the hoUow of the hand or the arch of the 
foot, cf. XI. 204); see Cato R.R. VII. 3, Virg. Qearg. II. 88. 



326 



BOOK XV. XVI. 55-xvii. 58 

its long neck, the bottle-pear ; and the Corioian and 
Bruttian pears are so called because of their connexion 
with certain races, and the gourd-pear and the 
sourish pear because of their j uice. Pears the reason 
for the names of which is uncertain are the barbarian, 
the variety of Venus pear called the coloured Venus, 
the royal pear called the squat pear because of its 
very short stalk, the patrician pear, and the voci- 
mum,^ a green kind of an oblong shape. Virgil has 
also mentioned a warden pear,^ which he gets from 
Cato, who also specifies a ' seed-time pear ' and a 
* must-pear.' 

XV^Il. This department of hfe has long ago arrived Graftino. 
at its highest point, mankind having explored every 
possibiUty, inasmuch as Virgil speaks of grafting nuts Georg.u.^2. 
on an arbutus, apples on a plane aiid cherries on an 
elm. And nothing further can be devised — at all 
events it is now a long time since any new kind of 
fruit has been discovered. Moreover, rehgious 
scruples do not permit us to cross all varieties by 
grafting ; for instance, we must not graft upon a 
thorn, inasmuch as it is not easy to expiate thunder- 
bolts when they have struck them, and it is dechired 
that the same number of bolts will strike it in a 
sino-le flash as the kinds of trees that have been 
grafted on it. 

Pears have a more tapering shape than apples. Keejdng and 
The late kinds among them hang on the mother tree ^^^^vear. 
till winter and ripen with the frost — the Greek pear, 
the bottle pear, the bay-leaf pear; as also among 
apples do the Amerian and Scaudian varieties. 
Pears are put in storage like grapes, and in as many 
different ways, and are the only fruit kept in casks 
except plums. Of all the apple kind pears have 

327 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

aegris medentes cavent. e vino et aqua cocuntur 
atque pulmentari vicem inplent, quod non alia 
praeter cotonea ac struthea. 

59 XVIII. In universum autem de pomis servandis 
praecipitur pomaria in loco frigido ac sicco contabu- 
lari, septentrionalibus fenestris sereno die patere, 
austros specularibus arceri,^ aquilonis quoque adflatu 
poma deturpante rugis, colligi mala post aequinoctium 
autumni, neque ante xvi lunam neque ultra duo- 
detricesimam, nec pluvio die neque ante primam 
horam, cadiva separari, stramentis solidis paleisve 
substerni, rara componi ut Umites pervii spiritum 
aequalem accipiant. Amerina maxime durare, 

00 melimela minime. cotoneis in loco cluso ^ spira- 
mentimi omne adimendum aut incoqui melle ea 
mergive oportere. Punica aqua marina fervente 
indurari, mox triduo sole siccata ita ne nocturno rore 
contingantur suspendi, et cum Ubeat uti, aqua dulci 
perlui. M. Varro et in doliis harenae servari iubet 
et inmatura obrui terra in oHis fundo effracto sed 
spiritu excluso ac surculo pice inhto : sic etiam 



1 arceri ? Mayhoff : arcere. 
* Eackhaiu : in coneluso. 



328 



BOOK XV. XVII. 58-xviii. 60 

the quality of wines, and like wine they are avoided 
by doctors in the treatment of the sick. Boiled in 
wine and water they make a sort of jam, as does no 
other fruit except the quince and the sparrow- 
apple. 

XVIII. In reg-ard to keeping fruit it is universally Methodsof 
recommended that fruit-lofts should be constructed ^^"^•''^* 
in a cool and dry place, with boarded floors and win- 
dows facing north that are left open on a fine day, 
and Mith glazed windows to keep out south winds, 
the draught from a north-east wind also spoiling the 
appearance of the fruit by making it shrivelled ; that 
apples should be gathered after the autumn equinox, 
and not before the 16th day of the moon nor later 
than the 28th, nor on a rainy day, nor till an hour after 
sunrise ; that windfalls should be kept separate ; 
that the fruit should have a bed of close-packed straw 
or of chaff underneath, and should be placed far 
apart so that the spaces between the rows may admit 
a uniform draught. It is said that the Ameria 
apple is the best keeper and the honey-apple the 
worst. It is recommended that quinces should be 
stored in a place kept shut up, from which all draughts 
are excluded, or else that they should be boiled or 
soaked in honey. Pomegranates should be hardened 
in boiUng sea-water and then dried in the sun for 
three days and hung up in such a way as to be pro- 
tected from the dew at night, and when wanted for 
use they should be thoroughly washed in fresh water. 
Marcus Varro recommends keeping them in large 
jars of sand, and also while they are unripe covering 
them with earth in pots with the bottom broken out 
but with all air shut out from them and with their 
stalk smeared with pitch, as so kept they grow to an 

329 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

crescere amplitudine maiorc quam possint in arbore. 
cetera mala et foliis ficulnis, praeterquam cadivis, 
singula convolvi cistisque vitilibus condi vel creta 

61 figulinarum inlini. pira in vasis fictilibus picatis 
inversis obrui terra in scrobe.^ Tarentina serisslma 
legi, Aniciana servari et in passo, sorba quoque, et 
scrobibus gypsato operculo, duum pedum terra 
superiniecta, in loco aprico, inversis vasis, et in doliis 
ut uvas cum ramis suspendi. 

62 E proximis auctoribus quidam altius curam repe- 
tunt, deputarique statim poma ac vites ad hunc 
usum praecipiunt decrescente luna, post horam diei 
tertiam, caelo sereno aut siccis ventis. similiter 
deligi et ex locis siccis et ante perfectam maturitatem, 
addito ut luna infra terram sit, uvas cum malleolo 
sarmenti duro, demptis forfice corruptioribus acinis, 
in dolio picato recenti suspendi, exclusa omni aura 
operculo et gypso. sic et sorba ac pira, inhtis 
omnium surculis pice. doha procul ab aqua esse. 

63 quidam sic cum palmite ipso condunt, capitibus eius 

^ Rackham : obrui inter acrobae aut obrui scrobe. 



BOOK XV. XVIII. 60-63 

even larger size than they could possibly attain on the 
tree. He says that all other fruit of the apple kind 
should also be wrapped up separately in fig-leaves 
(but not leaves that have fallen off) and stored in 
wicker baskets or else smeared over with potters' 
earth. He says that pears should be stored in earthen- 
ware jars which should be covered with pitch and 
placed bottom upwards in a hole in the ground with 
earth heaped over them. He recommends gathering 
the Taranto pear very late ; and keeping the Anician 
and also sorb-apples in raisin wine, and putting them 
in holes dug in the ground in a sunny place, with the 
Hd of the jar plastered up and two feet of earth heaped 
on top of it, the vessels being placed bottom upward ; 
and he also recommends hanging them together with 
their branches, like grapes, in large jars. 

Some of the most recent writers examine deeper PicHngfor 
into the matter, and recommend that fruit and grapes JJ^SStSf 
should be picked early for the purpose of storage, /'^*««2^''^- 
when the moon is waning, after nine o'clock in the 
morning, in fine weather or with a dry wind blowing. 
Likewise they say that the fruit ought to be chosen 
from dry places and also before it is completely ripe, 
with the further condition that the moon must be 
below the horizon ; and that the grapes with their 
hard hammer-shoot of stalk, after the rather rotten 
berries have been removed with a pair of scissors, 
should be hung up inside a fresh-tarred cask, with all 
air shut out by the Hd and by plaster. They recom- 
mend the same method for storing sorb-apples and 
pears, the stalks of all having been smeared with 
pitch. They say that the casks must not be kept 
anywhere near water. Some people store them in 
this way together with the branch itself, with each of 

33^ 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

scillae infixis utrimque, alii etiam vina habentibus 
doliis, dum ne contingant ea uvae, aliqui mala in 
patinis fictilibus fluitantia, quo genere et vino odorem 
adquiri putant. aliqui omnia haec in miho servari 
malunt, plerique vero in scrobe duum pedum altitudi- 
nis harena substrato et fictili operculo, dein terra 

64 operto. creta quidam figlina etiam uvas inUnunt 
siccataque sole suspendunt, in usu diluentes cretam. 
eandem pomis vino subigunt. mala vero genero- 
sissima eadem ratione crustant gypso vel cera, quae 
nisi maturaverint incremento calcem rumpunt; 
semper autem in pediculos conlocant ea. aUi de- 
cei*punt cum surculis eosque in medullam sabuci 

65 abditos obruunt ut supra scriptum est. alii singu- 
lis malis pirisque singula vasa fictilia adsignant et 
operculo eorum picato ^ dolio iterum includunt, nee 
non aliqui in floccis capsisque quas luto paleato inli- 
nunt, alii hoc idem in patinis fictiUbus, aliqui et in 
scrobe subiecta harena, ita sicca operiunt mox terra. 
sunt qui cotonea cera Pontica inlita melle demergant. 

66 Columella auctor est in puteos cisternasve uvas ^ 
in fictiUbus vasis pice diligenti cura inUtis mergi. 



* Dalec. : operculum . . . picatum. 
2 uvas add. Mayhojf. 



332 



BOOK XV. xviii. 63-66 

its ends stuck into a squill ; othcrs hang them in 
casks still containing wine, but taking care that the 
grapes do not touch the wine ; soine store apples 
floating in wine in earthenware dishes, by which 
method they think a scent is given to them by the 
wine. Some prefer to preserve all fruit of this kind 
in millet, but most people think it is best kept in a 
hole in the ground two feet deep with a layer of 
sand under the fruit and covered with an earthen- 
ware Hd and then with soil. Some even smear 
grapes with potters' clay, dry them in the sun 
and hang them up, washing off the clay when 
they are required for use. In the case of fruits, 
they get rid of the clay by meaiis of wine. By the 
same method they coat the finest kind of apples with 
plaster or wax, but if the fruit is not already ripe it 
breaks the coating by growing in size ; but they 
always store the apples with their stalks downward. 
Other people pluck the apples together with the 
branches, the ends of which they thrust into elder 
pith and then bury, as described above. Others § 63. 
assign a separate clay vessel to each apple and pear, 
and after seaUng up the opening of the vessels with 
pitch enclose them again in a cask ; also some store 
the fruit, packed in flocks of wool, in cases which they 
smear with clay mixed with chaff; others follow the 
same plan using earthenware pans to put them in ; 
and also some store them in a hole on a layer of 
sand, and so later cover them up with dry earth. 
There are some who give quinces a coat of Pontic 
wax and then dip them in honey. Columella 
recommends storing grapes in earthenware vessels 
that have been very carefully smeared with a 
coating of pitch, and sinking them into wells or 

333 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

Liguria maritima Alpibus proxima uvas sole siccatas 
iunci fasceis involvit cadisque conditas gypso includit. 
hoc idem Graeci platani foliis aut vitis ipsius aut fici 
uno die in umbra siccatis atque in cado \inaceis 
interpositis ; quo genere Coa uva et Berytia ser- 

67 vantur, nullius suavitati postferendae. quidam ut 
has faciant in cinere lixivo tingunt protinus quam 
detraxere vitibus, mox in sole siccant passasque in 
aquam calidam mergunt et iterum sole siccant, timi 
foliis, ut supra dictum est, involutas vinaceis stipant. 
sunt qui malunt uvas in scobe ramentisve abietis, 
populi, fraxini servare ; sunt qui suspendi procul 
malis protinusque in granariis iubent, quoniam optime 
siccet frumenti ^ pulvis. pensilibus contra vespas 
remedio est oleo adspergi ex ore. de palmis diximus. 

68 XIX. E reliquo genere pomorum ficus amplissima 
est, quaedamque et piris magnitudine aemulae. 
de Aegyptiae Cypriaeque miraculis retulimus inter 
externas. Idaea rubet olivae magnitudine, ro- 
tundior tantum, sapore mespili. Alexandrinam hanc 
ibi vocant, crassitudine cubitali, ramosam, materie 
validam, lentam, sine lacte, cortice viridi, folio tiliae 

^ Mayhoff : optime sic experimenti. 

334 



BOOK XV. XVIII. 66-xix. 68 

cisterns. The part of seaboard Liguria nearest to 
the Alps dries its grapes in the sun, and wraps the 
raisins in bundles of rush and stores them in casks 
sealed up with plastered Hme. The Greeks do the 
same, employing plane-tree leaves, the leaves of the 
vine itself or fig-leaves that have been dried for 
one day in a shady place, and putting grape-skins 
in the cask between the grapes ; this is the method 
used for storing the grapes of Cos and of Beyrout, 
which are inferior to none in sweetness. Some people 
to make raisins dip the grapes in lye-ashes as soon as 
they have plucked them from the vines.and afterwards 
dry them in the sun and plunge the raisins into hot 
water and again dry them in the sun, and then wrap 
them up in leaves, making them into a tight bundle 
with grape-husks as described above. There are §66. 
those who prefer to keep grapes in sawdust or in 
shavings of fir or poplar or ash wood; and there 
are some who advise hanging them in a granary, not 
near any apples, as soon as they are picked, because 
they say that the dust of the corn dries them best. 
A protection against wasps for bunches of grapes 
hung up is to sprinkle them with oil squirted out of the 
mouth. About palm-dates we have already spoken. xiii. 39. 

XIX. Of the rest of the apple class the fig is the varietiesof 
largest, and some figs rival even pears in size. We meihods of 
have spoken about the marvels of the Egyptian and 
Cypriote fig among the figs of foreign countries. 
That of Mount Ida is red, and is the size of an oHve, 
only rounder in shape ; it has the taste of a medlar. 
The local name of this tree is the Alexandrian fig ; 
the trunk is eighteen inches thick and it spreads out 
in branches ; it has a tough pliant wood, containing no 
juice, a green bark and a leaf like that of a lime but 

335 



gromng . 
XIII. 56 tq. 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

sed molli. Onesicritus tradit in Hyrcania multum 
nostris esse dulciores fertilioresque, ut quae modios 

69 ccLXX singulae ferant. ad nos ex aliis transiere genti- 
bus, Chalcide, Chio, quarum plura genera, siquidem 
et Lydiae, quae sunt purpureae, et mamillanae simi- 
Htudinem earum habent, et calHstruthiae farti ^ 
sapore praestantiores, ficorum omnium frigidissimae. 
nam de Africanis, quoniam ^ multi praeferunt cunctis, 
magna quaestio est, cum id genus in Africam nuper- 

70 rime transierit. patriae nomen optinent etiam ^ 
Alexandrinae e nigris, candicante rima, cognomine 
deUcatae; nigra et Rhodia est et Tiburtina de 
praecocibus. sunt et auctorum nomina iis, Liviae, 
Pompei : siccandis haec sole in annuos usus aptissima 
cum mariscis et quas harundinum foUi macula variat. 
est et Herculanea et albicerata et aratia alba, pedi- 

71 culo minimo, latissima. primo autem provenit 
porphyritis, longissimo pediculo ; comitatur eam e 
minimis viUssima * popularis dicta. contra novissima 
sub hiemem ^ maturatur cheUdonia. sunt praeterea 
eaedem serotinae et praecoces, biferae, alba ac nigra, 
cum messe \indemiaque maturescentes. serotinae 
et a corio appeUatae duro, ex Ghalcidicis quarundam 



^ Mayhoff : fartim atit partim. 

" Mayhoff : quam (quas edd.). 

^ Mayhoff : nam. 

■= Detlefsen : vilissimis. 

'" Rackham: hieme. 



BOOK XV. XIX. 68-71 

soft to the feel. Onesicrilus reports that the figs in 
Ilyrcania are much sweeter than ours and the trees 
niore prolific, a single tree bearing 270 pecks of 
fruit. Figs have been introduced among us from 
othcr countries, for instance, Chalcis and Chios — of 
the latter there are several varieties, inasmuch as 
Lydian figs, which are purple, and breast-shaped 
figs have a resemblance to the Chian ; also the 
* pretty-sparrow ' figs, which are superior in the 
flavour of their flesh and are the coolest of all figs. 
For in regard to the African fig, as many people 
prefer it to the whole of the other kinds, there is a 
great question, inasmuch as this kind has only quite 
recently crossed over into Africa. Also among black 
figs the Alexandrian is named from its country of 
origin — it has a cleft of a whitish colour, and it is 
called the luxury fig ; among figs that ripen early 
those of Rhodes and of Tivoli are also black. Eai'ly 
figs also have the names of the persons who intro- 
duced them — Livia, Pompey : the latter is the best 
for a fig to be dried in the sun for use throughout the 
year, together with the marsh fig and the fig with 
marks all over it shaped like a reed leaf. There are 
also the Herculaneum fig, the white-wax fig, and the 
white plough fig, Avith a very small stalk, a very flat- 
shaped kind. But the earliest fig is the purple fig, 
which has a very long stalk ; it is accompanied by the 
worst of the very small kinds, called the peopIe's fig. 
On the other hand the kind that ripens latest, just 
before winter, is the swallow fig. There are moreover 
figs that bear both late and early, yielding two crops, 
one white and one black, ripening with the harvest 
and with the vintage. There is also a late fig named 
from the hardness of its skin ; some of the Ghalcidic 

337 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

trifero proventu. Tarenti tantum praedulces na- 

72 scuntur quas vocant onas. Cato de ficis ita memorat : 
* Ficos mariscas in loco cretoso aut aperto serito, in 
loco autem crassiore aut stercorato Africanas et 
Herculaneas, Saguntinas, hibernas, Telanas atras 
pediculo longo.' postea tot subiere nomina atque 
genera ut vel hoc solum aestimantibus appareat 
mutatam esse vitam. sunt et hibernae quibusdam 
provinciis, sicuti Moesiae, sed artis, non naturae. 

73 parvarum genus arborum post autumnum fimo con- 
tegimt, deprehensasque in his hieme grossos, quae 
mitiore caelo refossae cum arbore atque in lucem 
remissae novos soles aliosque quam quibus vixere 
avide tamquam iterum natae accipiunt et cum ve- 
nientium flore matm-escunt, aUeno praecoces anno, in 
tractu vel gehdissimo. 

74 XX. Sed a Catone appellata iam tum Africana ad- 
monet ad ^ ingens docimentum usi eo pomo. namque 
pernitiaU odio Carthaginis flagrans nepotumque 
securitatis anxius, cum clamaret omni senatu 
Carthaginem delendam, adtuHt quodam die in curiam 
praecocem ex ea provincia ficum, ostendensque 
patribus : ' Interrogo vos,' inquit, ' quando hanc 

75 pomimi demptam putetis ex arbore ? ' cum inter 

1 Detlefsen : admonet Africae ad. 



" I.e. the sun is now the sun of spring, not of autumn. 
^ Moesia is the modera Bulgaria and S.E. Jugo-Slavia. 



338 



BOOK XV. XIX. 71-XX. 75 

varieties of this kind bear three times a year. The 
extremely sweet fig called the ona grows only at 
Taranto. Cato makes the following remark ahout r.r.viiia. 
figs : ' Plant the marisca fig in a chalky or open 
place, but the African, Herculanean and Sagun- 
tine kinds, the winter fig and the black long-stalked 
Telanian in a richer soil or in one well manured.' 
Since his day so many names and varieties have 
arisen that a consideration of this alone is enough to 
show how our way of Hfe has been transformed. 
Some provinces also have winter figs, for instance 
Moesia, but these are a product of art and not of 
nature. There is a small kind of fig-tree which is 
banked up with manure at the end of autumn and the 
figs on it are overtaken by winter while still unripe ; 
and when milder weather comes the figs, together 
with the tree, are dug up again and restored to Hght ; 
and just as if born again they greedily imbibe 
the warmth of the new sun, a different one from the 
sun through which they hved before," and begin to 
ripen along with the blossom of the coming crop, 
maturing in a year that does not belong to them ; the 
region is an extremely cold one.* 

XX. But the variety which even in his day Cato HUtorfcai 
termed the African fig reminds us of his having X2%*. 
employed that fruit for a remarkable demonstration. 
Burning with a mortal hatred of Carthage and anxious 
in regard to the safety of his descendants, at every 
meeting of the senate he used to vociferate ' Down 
with Carthage ! ' and so on a certain occasion he 
brought into the house an early ripe fig from that 
province, and displaying it to the Fathers he said, ' I 
put it to you, when do you think this fruit was plucked 
from the tree ? ' Everybody agreed that it was quite 

339 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

omnis recentem esse constaret, ' Atqui tertium,* 
inquit, * ante diem scitote decerptam Carthagine : 
tam prope a moeris habemus hostem ! ' statimque 
sumptum est Punicum tertium bellum quo Carthago 
deleta est, quamquam Catone anno sequente rapto. 
quid primum in eo miremur, curam ingenii an occa- 
sionem fortuitam, celeritatemque cursus an vehe- 

76 mentiam \iri ? super omnia est, quo nihil equidem 
duco mirabiUus, tantam illam urbem et de terrarum 
orbe per cxx annos aemulam unius pomi argu- 
mento eversam, quod non Trebia aut Trasimenus, non 
Cannae busto Romani nominis perficere potuere, non 
castra Punica ad tertium lapidem vallata portaeque 
CoUinae adequitans ipse Hannibal : tanto propius 
Carthaginem pomo Cato admovit. 

77 CoUtur ficus arbor in foro ipso ac comitio Romae 
nata sacra fulguribus ibi conditis magisque ob 
memoriam eius qua ^ nutrix RomuU ac Remi condi- 
tores imperii in LupercaU prima protexit, ruminaUs 
appeUata quoniam sub ea inventa est lupa infanti- 
bus praebens rumin (ita vocabant mammam) — mira- 
culo ex aere iuxta dicato, tamquam ^ comitium 
sponte transisset Atto Navio augurante. nec sine 
praesagio aUquo arescit rursusque cura sacerdotum 



^ Rackhum : quae. 

2 Rackham : tanquam in. 



340 



BOOK XV. XX. 75-77 

fresh ; so he said, ' O well, it was picked the day 
before yesterday at Carthage — so near is the enemy 
to our walls ! * And they promptly embarked on the 
third Punic war, in which Carthage rvas brought down, 
although Cato had been taken from us the year after 
the incident narrated. What should we chiefly 
wonder at in this ? ingenuity or chance coincidence ? 
rapidity of transit or manly force of character ? 
The crowning marvel, which I for my part think 
wonderful beyond parallel, is that so mighty a city, 
which for one hundred and twenty years had com- 
peted for the sovereignity of the world, was over- 
thrown by the evidence of a single fruit — an achieve- 
ment which not Trebbia or Trasimene, not Cannae 
with the tomb of Ilome's glory, not the Carthaginian 
camp pitched three miles from the city and Hannibal 
in person riding up to the ColHne gate were able to 
achieve : so much nearer did Cato bring Carthage to 
us by means of a single fruit ! 

A fig-tree growing in the actual forum and Famouaflg- 
meeting-place of Rome is worshipped as sacred be- Romt. 
cause things struck by hghtning are buried there, 
and still more as a memorial of the fig-tree under 
which the nurse of Romulus and Remus first 
sheltered those founders of the empire on the 
Lupercal Hill — the tree that has been given the 
name of Ruminalis, because it was beneath it ihat 
the wolf was discovered giving her rumis (that was the 
old word for breast) to the infants — a marvellous 
occurrence commemorated in bronze close by, as 
though the wolf had of her own accord passed across 
the meeting-place while Attus Naevius was taking the 
omens. And it is also a portent of some future event 
when it withers away and then by the good offices of 

341 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

seritur. fuit et ante Saturni aedem urbis anno 
ccLX ^ sublata sacro a Vestalibus facto, cum Silvani 

78 simulacrum subverteret. eadem fortuito satu vivit 
in medio foro, qua sidentia imperii fundamenta 
ostento fatali Curtius maximis bonis, hoc est virtute 
ac pietate ac morte praeclara, expleverat. aeque 
fortuita eodem loco est vitis, atque olea umbrae gratia 
sedulitate plebeia sata.^ ara inde sublata gladia- 
torio munere divi luli quod novissime pugnavit in foro. 

79 XXI. Admirabilis est pomi liuiusce festinatio unius 
in cunctis ad maturitatem properantis arte naturae. 
caprificus vocatur e silvestri genere ficus numquam 
maturescens, sed quod ipsa non habet alii tribuens, 
quoniam est naturahs causarum transitus aeque ^ ut 

80 e putrescentibus generatur * aliquid. ergo cuhces 
parit, hi fraudati aUmento in matre e ^ putri eius 
tabe ad cognatam evolant, morsuque ficorum crebro, 
hoc est avidiore pastu,® aperientes ora earum atque 
ita penetrantes intus solem primo secum inducunt 
cerialesque aiu*as inmittunt foribus adapertis. mox 
lacteum umorem, hoc est infantiam pomi,'' absumunt, 

^ CCLX add. edd. * Rackham : satae. 

' Detlefsen (atque aut fitque alii) : que. 

* Edd. : gignatur. ^ e add. Backham. 
^ [hoc . . . pastu] ? Eackham. 

' [hoc . . . pomi] ? Backham. 

" In 362 B.c. a chasm opened in the forum, which the sooth- 
sayers said could only be fiUed by throwing into it Rome's 
greatest treasure. M. Curtius mounted his horse and leaped 
into it, and the earth closed over him. The spot Avas marked 
by a circular pavement, and culled the Lacus Curtius (Livy I. 
19, VII. 6). 

* The cynips psenes. 

<^ /.p. a cultivated fig. 

''• '■ These two clauses look like interpolations. 

342 



BOOK XV. XX. 77-xxi. 80 

the priests is replanted. There was also a fig-tree 
in front of the temple of Saturn, which in 404 b.c, 
after a sacrifice had been offered by the Vestal 
Virgins, was removed, because it was upsetting a 
statue of Silvanus. A tree of the same kind that was 
self-sown Hves in the middle of the forum, at the 
spot where, when the foundations of the Empire were 
collapsing in portent of disaster, Curtius had filled up 
the gulf " with the greatest of treasures, I mean virtue 
and piety and a glorious death. Likewise self-sown 
is a vine in the same locaHty, and there is an oHve 
planted by the care of the populace for the sake of 
the shade ; an altar in the forum was removed on 
the occasion of the gladiatorial show given by his late 
Majesty JuHus, the most recent one that fought in 
the forum. 

XXI. A remarkable fact about the fig is that this Fig-growtng ; 
alone among aU the fruits hastens to ripen with a ^«^^<^*'^- 
rapidity due to the skiU of nature. There is a wild 
variety of fig caUed the goat-fig which never ripens, 
but bestows on another tree what it has not got itself, 
since it is a natural sequence of causation, just as 
from things that decay something is generated. 
Consequently this fig engenders gnats ^ which, 
being cheated out of nutriment in their mother tree, 
fly away from its decaying rottenness to the 
kindred tree,*^ and by repeatedly nibbHng at the figs 
— that is by feeding on them too greedily^ — they 
open their orifices and so make a way into them, 
bringing with them the sun into the fruit for the first 
time and introducing the fertiHzing air through the 
passages thus opened. Then they consume the 
milky juice — this is the symptom of the fruit's 
infancy * — which also dries up of its own accord ; and 

343 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

quod fit et sponte ; ideoque ficetis caprificus per- 
mittitur ad rationem venti ut flatus evolantes in 

81 ficos ferat. inde repertum ut inlatae quoque aliunde 
et inter se colligatae inicerentur ficeto,i quod in macro 
solo et aquilonio non desiderant, quoniam sponte are- 
scunt loci situ rimisque eadem quae culicum opera ea 
causa 2 perficit, nec ubi multus pulvis, quod evenit 
maxime frequenti via adposita; namque et pulveri 
vis siccandi sucumque lactis absorbendi. quae ratio 
pulvere et caprificatione hoc quoque praestat ne 
decidant, absumpto umore tenero et cum quadam 

82 fragilitate ponderoso. ficis mollis omnibus tactus, 
maturis frumenta intus, sucus maturescentibus lactis, 
percoctis mellis. senescunt in arbore anusque destil- 
lant cummium lacrimas. siccat honos laudatas, 
servat in capsis, in ^ Ebuso insula praestantissimas 
amplissimasque, mox in Marrucinis; at ubi copia 
abundat, implentur orcae in Asia, cadi autem in * 
Ruspina Africae urbe, panisque simul et opsonii 
vicem siccatae implent, utpote cum Cato cibaria ruris 

* Warmington : fico. 

^ Rackham : opere causa. 
'" in add. Backham. 

* in add. edd. 

344 



BOOK XV. XXI. 80-82 

bccause of this in fig-orchards a goat-fig is allowed to 
grow on the windward side, so that when a wind 
blows the gnats may fly off and be carried to the fig- 
trees. Then a plan was discovered of also bringing 
branches of the wild fig from somewhere else and 
throwing them tied together in bundles on to the fig- 
orchard — a treatment which orchard figs do not 
require when planted in a thin soil with a northerly 
aspect, since they dry of their own accord owing to 
the situation of the place, and this cause by making 
them spHt open produces the same results as the 
action of the gnats ; nor yet do they necd screening 
where there is much dust, which occurs chiefly when 
a much frequented high road is adjaccnt, for dust also 
has the effect of drying them up and absorbing the 
milky juice. This method by means of the dust and 
the employment of the wild fig also serves the purpose 
of preventing the figs from falHng off, by removing 
the juice which is soft and heavy, involving a certain 
Habihty to break. AU figs are soft to the touch, and 
when ripe have grains inside them ; also while in 
process of ripening they contain a milky juice, which 
when they are quite ripe is of the nature of honey. impmos 
When left on the tree they grow old, and v,'hen quite ^^'- 
aged they drip tears of gum. The figs that are 
highly approved are given the distinction of being 
dried and kept in boxes, the best and largest growing 
in the island of Iviza and the next best in the district 
of Chieti ; but in places where thcre is a very large 
supply of them, they are packed for storage in large 
jars in Asia, but in casks in the city of Ruspina in 
Africa, and when dry they serve the puq:)Ose of 
bread and other viands at the same time, inasmuch as 
Cato, as if laying down a law as to the proper rations 



VOL. IV. 



345 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

operariis iiista ceu lege sanciens rninui iubeat per 
fici maturitatem. cum recenti fico salis vice caseo 

83 vesci nuper excogitatum est. ex hoc genere sunt, 
ut diximus, cottana et caricae quaeque conscendenti 
navem adversus Parthos omen fecere M. Crasso 
venales praedicantis voce, Cauneae. omnia haec in 
Albense rus e Syria intuHt L. Vitellius, qui postea 
censor fuit, cum legatus in ea provincia esset, novissi- 
mis Tiberii Caesaris temporibus. 

84 XXII. Malorum pirorumque generi adnumerentur 
iure mespila atque sorba. mespilis tria genera, 
anthedon, setania, tertium degenerat, anthedoni 
tamen simihus, quod Gaihcum vocant. setaniae 
maius pomum candidiusque, acini molliore hgno, 
ceteris minus pomum est, sed odore praestantius et 
quod diutius servetur. arbor ipsa de amphssimis ; 
foha antequam decidant rubescunt ; radices multae 
atque altae et ideo inextirpabiles. non fuit haec 
arbor in Itaha Catonis aevo. 

85 XXIII. Sorbis quadruplex differentia : ahis enim 
eorum rotunditas mali, ahis tm'binatio piri, aliis 
ovata species ceu malorum aliquibus. haec obnoxia 
acori, odore et suavitate rotunda praecehunt, ceteris 
vini sapor ; generosissima (juibus circa pediculos 
tenera foha. quartum, genus torminale appehant, 



" Because they would be sure to eat a quantity of figs: 
Cato R.R. LVI. 

*• ' Cauneas ' sounded like ' Caue ne oas,' ' Beware of going. 
Cf. Cicero. Dc div. II. 84. 



346 



BOOK XV. XXI. 82-xxiii. 85 

for agricultural labourers, prescribcs that they are to 
be reduced in quantity during the time when the figs 
are ripe.'* A plan has lately been devised to use a 
fresh fig instead of salt when eating cheese. To 
this class, as we have said, belong the Syrian and the xiii. 51. 
Carian figs and the Caunean figs that, when Marcus 
Crassus was embarking to sail against the Parthians, 
gave him an omen by the voice of a man crying them 
for sale.* All these varieties of fruit were importcd 
from Syria to his country place at Alba by Lucius 
VitelUus, afterwards censor, when he was Heutenant- 
governor in that province, in the latter part of the 
principate of the emperor Tiberius. 

XXII. Fruits that must be included in the class of ifediar. 
apples and pears are the medlar and the service-berry. 
There are three sorts of medlar, the anthedon, the 
setania, and the third an inferior kind yet rather Hke 

the anthedon, which is called the Gallic medlar. The 
fruitof the setania is larger and of a palercolour, with 
a softer pip ; the others have smallcr fruit but with a 
superior scent and keeping longer. The tree itself 
is one of the most widely spreading; its leaves turn 
red before they fall off ; it has a great many roots, 
which go deep into the ground and consequently it is 
impossible to grub them up. In Cato's tiine this 
tree did not exist in Italy. 

XXIII. There are four varieties of service-berry, f?errice- 
some of them round like an apple, and others of conical ^^''^' 
shape hke a pear, while others look Hke an egg, as do 
some kinds of apple. This last variety are Hable to 

be sour, but the round ones excel in scent and sweet- 
ness, and the rest have a flavour of wine ; the best 
varieties are those which have their stalks surrounded 
with tender leaves. The fourth kind is call^^d the 

347 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

remedio tantum probabile, adsidmmi proventu mini- 
mumque pomo, arbore dissimile, foliis paene platani. 
non ferunt ante trimatum ex ullo genere. Cato et 
sorba condi sapa tradit. 

86 XXIV. Ab his locum amplitudine vindicaverunt 
quae cessere auctoritate nuces iuglandes, quamquam 
et ipsae nuptialium Fescenninorum comites, multum 
pineis minores universitate eademque ^ portione 
ampliores nucleo. nec non et honori is naturae 
peculiaris gemino protectis operimento, pulvinati 
primum calycis, mox Hgnei putaminis. quae causa 
eas nuptiis fecit religiosas, tot modis fetu munito, 
quod est verisimiHus quam quia cadendo tripudium 

87 sonivium faciant. et has e Perside regibus translatas 
indicio sunt Graeca nomina : optimum quippe genus 
earum Persicura atque basilicon vocant, et haec 
fuere prima nomina. caryon a capitis gravedine 
propter odoris gravitatem convenit dictum. tingun- 
tur cortice earum lanae et rufatur capilhis primum 
prodeuntibus nuculis : id conpertum infectis tractatu 

88 manibus. pinguescunt vetustate. sola differentia 
generum in putamine duro fragihve et tenui aut 

1 fJdd. : eaedem. 



" At a wedding nuts were thrown by the bridegroom 
among the bo ys carrying the torches, as the bride approached ; 
Virgil, £c/. Vill. 31 'sparge, marite, nuoes.' No doubt Pliny 
is right in explaining this as a fertility charm. 

* Sonivius, ' noisy,' oecurs only in this plirase in Cicero and 
here. 

* Caryon from Kopa, ' head.' 



BOOK XV. XXIII. 85-xxiv. 88 

colic apple and is only valiied as a medicine ; it is 

a steady bearer and has a very small fruit ; the 

tree diifers in appearance from the other kinds, and 

the leaves are almost the same as those of the plane. 

Xone of the sorbs bear before their third year. Cato R.R. vii. 4. 

records that even sorbs can be preserved in must. 

XXIV. The walnut has won from the service-berry Widmu. 
in point of size the place that it has yielded to it 
in popularity, although the walnut also accom- 
panies the Fescennine songs sung at weddings. 
The whole nut is considerably smaller than a pine- 
cone, but the kernel is larger in the same pro- 
portion. Moreover the walnut has a distinction of 
structure that is pecuUar to it, in that it is pro- 
tected by a double covering, consisting first of a 
cushion-shaped cup and then of a woody shell. 
This is the reason why walnuts have become 
emblems consecrated to weddings," because their 
progeny is protected in so many ways — a more 
Hkely explanation of the custom than that it is 
due to the rattHng rebound * which it makes when it 
falls on the floor. The Greek names for the wahnit 
prove that it also was sent us from Persia by the 
kings, the best kind of walnut being called in Greek 
the ' Persian ' and the ' royal,' and these were their 
original names. It is generally agreed that the 
caryon walnut gets its name from the headacJie '^ that 
it causes because of its oppressive scent. The shell 
of the walnut is used for dyeing wool, and the young 
nuts while just forming supply a red hair-dye — this 
was discovered from their staining the hands when 
handled. Age makes them oily. The only differ- 
ence betwcen the various kinds of walnuts consists in 
the hardness or brittleness of the shell and in its 

349 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

crasso, loculoso aut simplici. solum hoc pomum 
natura conpactili operimento clausit : namque sunt 
bifidae putaminum carinae nucleorumque alia qua- 
dripertita distinctio lignea intercursante membrana. 
ceteris quidquid est solidum est ut in abellanis, et 
ipso nucum genere, quas antea Abellinas patriae 
nomine appellabant : in Asiam Graeciamque e 
Ponto venere eae ideoque et ^ Ponticae nuces vo- 

89 cantur. has quoque moUis protegit barba, sed 
putamini nucleisque soUda rotunditas inest. hae 
et torrentur. umbilicus illis intus in ventre me- 
dio. tertia in his ^ natura amygdaUs tenuiore sed 
simiU iuglandium summo operimento, item secundo 
putaminis ; nucleus dissimilis latitudine ^ et acriore 

90 caUo. haec arbor an fuerit in ItaUa Catonis aetate 
dubitatur, quoniam Graecas nominat, quas quidam 
et in iuglandium genere servant. adicit praeterea 
abeUanas et calvas,* Praenestinas, quas maxime 
laudat et conditas oUis in terra servari virides tradit. 
nunc Thasiae et Albenses celebrantur et Tarentina- 
rum duo genera, fragiU putamine ac dm*o, quae sunt 
ampUssimae ac minime rotundae : praeterea moUu- 

91 scae putamen rmnpentes : sunt qui honore ^ nomen 
interpretentur et lovis glandem esse dicant. nuper 

^ Mayhoff : venere et ideo quod. 

2 V.l. tertiam liis : tertia nucis Mueller. 

^ latitudine (minore) ? Rackham. 

* Sillig coll. Catone : galbaa, 

^ honore ? Mayhoff : honori. 

" Abella in Campania. 

" I.e. unlike the walnut, its sheU does not split into halves 
and the nut does not lie in four quarters. 

' An almond has breadth and length ; the wahiut is more 
uniform. 

'^ R.R. VIII. 2, CXXXIII, 3. 

* luglans = louis glans. 



BOOK XV. XXIX. 88-91 

being thin or thick and full of recesses or uniform. 
It is the only fruit which nature has enclosed in a 
covering made of pieces fitted together ; for the shell 
is dividedinto two boat-shaped pieces, and the kernel 
is further separated into four sections with a woody 
membrane running between them. In all the other Hneei. 
kinds of nut the whole is in one sohd piece, as for 
instance in the hazel, itself also a sort of nut, the 
previous form of its name having been AbelUna, 
after the name of its place of origin ; " but it came into 
Asia and Greece from Pontus and is consequently 
also called the Pontic nut. This nut also is pro- 
tected by a soft beard, but the shell and the kernel 
are formed of one sohd round piece.^ It also is 
roasted. The kernel has a navel in its centre. A 
third variety of the nut class is the almond, which ^imonc 
has an outer integument hke that of the walnut but 
thinner, and also a second covering consisting of a 
shell ; but the kernel is unhke a walnut's in its 
breadth <^ and its hard part is more bitter. It is 
doubtful whether this tree existed in Italy in the 
time of Cato, as he calls '^ almonds * Greek nuts,' a 
name which some people also retain in the class of 
walnuts. Beside these Cato adds a smooth, hard 
kind of hazel-nut, the Palestrina nut, which he praises 
very highly and says can be kept fresh and green by 
being potted and buried in the ground. At the 
present day the almonds of Thasos and Alba are 
famous, and two kinds grown at Taranto, one with a 
brittle shell and the other with a liard shell, wlnch are 
very large in size and very Httle rounded in shape ; 
also famous is the ' soft nut,' which breaks through 
its shell. Some interpret the word for walnut as 
honorific and say it means ' Jove's acorn.' ^ I 

35^ 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

consularem virum audivi biferas et iuglandes nuces 
habere se profitentem. de pistaciis, et ipso nucum 
genere, in suo loco retulimus. et haec autem idem 
VitelHus in Italiam primus intuUt eodem tempore, 
simulque in Hispaniam Flaccus Pompeius eques 
Romanus qui cum eo militabat. 

92 XXV. Nuces vocamus et castaneas, quamquam 
accommodatiores glandium generi. armatum his 
echinato calyce vallum, quod inchoatum glandibus, 
mirumque viUssima esse quae tanta occultaverit cura 
naturae. trini quibusdam partus ex uno calyce ; 
cortexque lentus, proxima vero corpori membrana et 
in his et in nucibus saporem, ni detrahatur, infestat. 
torrere has in cibis gratius, modo molantur,i et 
praestant ieiunio feminarum quandam imaginem 

93 panis. Sardibus hae provenere primum : ideo apud 
Graecos Sardianos balanos appeUant, nam Dios bala- 
nu nomen ^ postea inposuere exceUentioribus satu 
factis. nunc plura earum genera. Tarentinae faciles 
ncc operosae cibo, planae figura. rotundior quae 
balanitis vocatur, purgabiUs maxime et sponte pro- 

94 siUens pura. plana est et Salariana, Tarentina minus 
tractabiUs. laudatior CoreUiana et ex ea facta quo 



1 Mayhoff : gratius modulatur aut alia. 

2 Mayhoff : Dios balanum. 



352 



BOOK XV. XXIV. 91-XXV. 94 



lately heard a man of consular rank declare that he 
ovvned some wahiut trees that actually bore two 
crops a year. We have already spoken in the putachio. 
proper place of the pistachio, which is also a sort of ^^3^' ^^* 
nut. This also was hkewise first brought into Italy by 
\'itelhus at the same time, and it was simultaneously 
introduced into Spain by Pompeius Flaccus, Knight 
of Rome, who was serving with Vitelhus. 

XXV. We give the name of nut to the chestnut chestnut, 
also, although it seems to fit better into the acorn J^'^^JJ^^, 
class. The chestnut has its armed rampart in its 
bristhng shell, which in the acorn is only partly 
developed, and it is surprising that what nature has 
taken such pains to conceal should be the least valu- 
able of things. Some chestnuts produce three nuts 
frorn one shell ; and the skin is tough, but next to the 
body of the nut there is a membrane which both in 
the chestnut and the walnut spoils the taste if it is 
not peeled ofF. It is more agreeable as a food when 
roasted, provided it is ground up, and it supphes a 
sort of imitation bread for women when they are 
keeping a fast. They came first from Sardis, and 
consequently they are called nuts of Sardis among 
the Greeks, for the name of Zeus's nut was given 
tliem later, after they had been improved by cuitiva- 
tion. There are now several varieties of them. The 
Taranto chestnut is hght and digestible to eat ; it 
has a flat shape. The chestnut called the acorn- 
chestnut is rounder ; it is very easy to peel, and 
jumps out of the shell quite clean of its own accord. 
The Salarian chestnut also has a fiat shape,but that 
of Taranto is less easy to handle. The Corellian is 
more highly spoken of, and so is the variety produced 
from it by the method which we shall speak of in xvii. 122. 

353 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

dicemus in insitis modo Etereiana, quam rubens 
cortex praefert triangulis et popularibus nigris quae 
coctivae vocantur. patria laudatissimis Tarentum 
et in Campania Neapolis ; ceterae suum pabulo 
gignuntur, scrupulosa corticis intra nucleos quoque 
ruminatione. 

95 XXVI. Haut procul abesse videantur et prae- 
dulces siliquae, nisi quod in his ipse manditur cortex. 
digitorum omnis longitudo illis, et interim falcata, 
pollicari latitudine. glandes inter poma nimierari 
non possunt, quamobrem in sua natui*a dicentur. 

96 XXVII. Reliqua carnosi sunt generis, eaque bacis 
atque carnibus distant. alia acinis caro, alia moris, 
alia unedonibus ; et alia acinis inter cutem sucumque, 

97 alia myxis, alia bacis ut olivis. moris sucus in carne 
vinosus, trini colores, candidus primo, mox rubens, 
maturis niger. in novissimis florent, inter prima ma- 
turescunt. tingunt manus suco matura, eluunt acerba. 
minimimi in hac arbore ingenia profecerunt : nec 
nominibus nec insitione ^ nec alio modo quam pomi 
magnitudine differunt mora Ostiensia et Tusculana 
Romanae.2 nascuntur et in rubis multum differente 

callo. 

^ insitione ? M ay hoff {inaitu Dalec.) : insitis. 
2 Rackham : Romane aut Romae. 



" I e. the grape, elder-berry, ivy-berry, etc. 
'" The blackberry. 



354 



BOOK XV. XXV. 94-xxvii. 97 

dealing with grafting,the Etereian, which its red skin 
renders more popular than the three-cornered chest- 
nut and the comnion black ones called cooking chest- 
nuts. The most highly commended chestnuts come 
from Taranto, and in Campania from Naples ; all the 
other kinds are grown for pig-food ; the pigs carefully 
chew up the shells as well, together with the kernels. 

XXVI. Also the extremely sweet carob may be Carob. 
thought to be not far remote from the chestnut, 
except that in the case of the carob the husk itself 
is eaten. It is not longer than a man's finger, and 
occasionally curved Uke a sickle, and it has the 
thickness of a man's thumb. Acorns cannot be 
counted among fruits, and consequently they will 
be dealt with among trees of their own kind. 

XX\TI. The remaining fruits belong to the fleshy softfruUs. 
class, and they diifer in their shape and in their flesh. 
Berries ^ have one kind of flesh, the mulberry another, 
the strawberry-tree another ; and the grape, etc, 
have a substance between skin and juice diiferent 
from that of the myxa plum and from that of berries 
such as the ohve. The flesh of the mulberry contains iiuibeny. 
a vinous juice, and the fruit has three successive 
colours, first white, then red, and when ripe black. 
The mulberry is one of the latest trees to blossom, 
but among the first to ripen. The juice of ripe 
mulberries stains the hand, but the stain can be 
washcd out with the juice of unripe ones. In the 
case of this tree the devices of the growers have made 
the least improvement of any, and the mulberry 
of Ostia and that of Tivoh do not differ from that of 
Rome by named varieties or by grafting or in any 
other way except in the size of the fruit. A similar 
but much firmer berry ^ also grows on brambles. 

355 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

98 XXVIII. Aliud corpus est terrestribus fragis, aliud 
congeneri eoruni unedoni, quod solum pomum simul 
e ^ frutice terraque gignitur. arbor ipsa fruticosa ; 
fructus anno maturescit, pariterque floret subnascens 
et prior coquitur. mas sit an femina sterilis inter 

99 auctores non constat. pomum inhonorum, ut cui 
nomen ex argumento sit unum tantum edendi. duo- 
bus tamen his ^ nominibus appellant Graeci, comaron 
et memaecylon, quo apparet totidem esse genera; 
et apud nos alio nomine arbutus vocatur. luba 
auctor est quinquagenum cubitorum altitudine in 
Arabia esse eas. 

100 XXIX. Acinorum quoque magna est difFerentia, 
primum inter uvas ipsas callo, teneritate, crassitudine, 
interiore Hgno aUis parvo et aUis etiam gemino, qui 
minime feraces musti. plurimum vero differunt 
hederae sabucique acini, et figura etiam Punici, 
angulosi quippe soU, nec cutis uUa singuUs praeter 
communem quae est candida. totisque sucus et 
caro est, his praecipue quibus parvolum inest Ugni. 

101 Magna et bacis difterentia : aUae namque sunt 
oUvis, lauris et aUo modo loto, cornis, aUo myrtis, 

^ simul e Mayhoff : simile. 
2 Mayhoff : hic aut hoc. 

" Unedo fiom unum edo. 



BOOK X\\ xxviii. 98-xxix. loi 

XXVIII. The flesh of the ground strawberry is Stravbeny. 
different from that of the strawberry-tree which is 
related to it, the strawberry being the only fruit that 
grows at the same time on a bush and on the ground. ArbJitui 
Thetree itself is asort of shrub ; the fruit takes a year •™"* 

to mature, and the following crop flowers side by side 
with the earUer crop when it is ripening, Authorities 
disagree as to whether it is the male plant or the 
female that is unproductive. The fruit is held in no 
esteem, the reason for its name being that a person 
will eat only one ! '^ Nevertheless the Greeks call 
it by the two names of comaron and memaecylon, 
which shows that there are two varieties of the 
plant ; and with ourselves it has another name, the 
arbutus. Juba states that in Arabia the strawberry- 
tree grows to a height of 75 feet. 

XXIX. There is also a great difference among the Varietiesof 
acinus class — to begin with, between grapes them- ^iiard. 
selves, which vary in respect of firmness, thinness or 
thickness of skin and the stone inside, which in some 

is specially small and in others actually double, the 
latter producing extremely Httle juice. Again, the 
berries of the ivy and the elder are very widely 
different, and the pomegranate differs greatly in 
shape also, being the only fruit that has corners ; 
andthere is no membrane for each separate grain, but 
only one wrapping for them all in common, which is 
white in colour. And these fruits consist entirely of 
juice and flesh, particularly the ones which contain 
only a small amount of woody substance. 

There is also a great variety among the berries of 
the baca kind, those of the ohve and the laurel being 
different, and that of the lotus differing in structure 
from that of the cornel and that of the myrtle from 

357 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

lentisco ; aquifolio enim ac spinae sine suco ; medio- 
que etiamnum genere inter bacas acinosque cerasis : 
pomum his primo candidum et fere omnibus bacis. 
mox aliis virescit, ut olivae, lauri, rubet vero moris, 
cerasis, comis, dein nigrescit moris, cerasis, olivis. 

102 XXX. Cerasiai ante victoriam Mithridaticam L. 
LuculH non fuere in ItaUa, ad urbis annum dclxxx. 
is primum invexit ^ e Ponto, annisque cxx trans 
oceanum in Britanniam usque pervenere ; eadem 
[ut diximus],^ in Aegypto nulla cura potuere gigni. 
cerasonmi Aproniana maxime rubent, nigerrima 

103 sunt Lutatia, Caecihana vero et rotunda. lunianis 
gratus sapor, sed paene tantum sub arbore sua, 
adeo teneris ut gestatum non tolerent. principatus 
duracinis quae Pliniana Campania appellat, in Belgica 
vero Lusitanis, in ripis etiam Rheni. tertius his colos 
e nigro ac rubenti viridique, simiUs maturescentibus 

104 semper. minus quinquennium est quod prodiere 
quae vocant laurea, non ingratae amaritudinis, insitae 
in lauru. sunt et Macedonica, parvae arboris raro- 
que tria cubita excedentis, et minore etiamnum 
frutice chamaecerasi. inter prima hoc e pomis 

1 Cerasia ? Mayhojf : Cerasi. 

2 Mayhoff : vexit. 
' Secl. lan. 

<» Duracina, ' hard-berry.' 



BOOK XV. XXIX. loi-xxx. 104 

that of the lentisk ; indced the berries of the holly and 
the may contain no juice ; and moreover the cherry 
forms a class intermediate between the baca kind of 
bcrries and the acinus kind : its fruit is at first whitc, 
as is that of almost all the bacae. At a later stage 
with some the berry turns green, e.g. the olive and 
the laurel ; but in the case of the mulberry, the 
cherry and the cornel it changes to red, and then 
with the mulberry, cherry and oHve it turns black. 

XXX. Before the victory of Lucius Lucullus in the cherry. 
war against Mithridates, that is down to 74 b.c, 
there were no cherry-trees in Italy. Lucullus first 
imported them from Pontus, and in 120 years they 
have crossed the ocean and got as far as Britain ; but 
all the same no attention has succeeded in getting 
them to grow in Egypt. Of cherries the Apronian 
are the reddest, and the Lutatian the blackest, 
while the CaeciHan kind are perfectly round. The 
Junian cherry has an agreeable flavour but practically 
only if eaten under the tree on which it grows, as it 
is so dehcate that it does not stand carriage. The 
highest rank, however, belongs to the bigaroon <* 
cherry called by the Campanians the Phnian cherry, 
but in Belgium to the Lusitanian, and so also on the 
banks of the Rhine. This cherry has a third kind of 
colour, a blend of black, bright red and green, which 
looks as if the fruit were always not quite ripe. It is 
less than five years ago that what is called the hiurel- 
cherry was introduced, which has a not disagreeable 
bitter flavour, and is produced by grafting a cherry on 
a bay-tree. There are also Macedonian cherries, 
grown on a tree of small size and rarely exceeding 
four and half feet in height, and ground-cherries, with 
a still smaller bush. The cherry is one of the earHest 

359 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

colono gratiam annuam rcfert. septentrione frigi- 
disque gaudet ; siccatur etiam sole conditurque ut 

105 oliva cadis. XXXI. Quae cura et cornis atque etiam 
lentisco adhibetur. ne quid non hominis ventri 
natum esse videatur, miscentur sapores et alio alius 
placere cogitur ; miscentur vero et terrae caeHque 
tractus : in aUo cibi genere India advocatur, in alio 
Aegyptus, Creta, Cyrene singulaeque terrae. nec 
cessat in veneficiis vita, dummodo omnia devoret. 
planius hoc fiet in herbarum natura. 

106 XXXII. Interim quae sunt communia [et] ^ pomis 
omnibusque sucis saporum genera x^ reperiuntur : 
dulcis, suavis, pinguis, amarus, austerus, acer, acutus, 
acerbus, acidus, salsus. praeter haec tria sunt 
genera mirabili maxime natura : unimi in quo plures 

107 pariter sentiuntur sapores, ut in ^ vdnis — namque 
in iis et austerus et acutus et dulcis et suavis, omnes 
alieni; alterum est genus in quo sit et ahenus 
quidem sed et suus quidam ac pecuHaris, ut in lacte, 
siquidem inest ei quod tamen iure dici dulce et 
pingue et suave non possit, optinente lenitate quae 

108 ipsa succedit in saporis vicem ; nullus hic aquis nec 
sucus, ut tamen eo ipso fiat ahquis ac suum genus 
faciat : sentiri quidem aquae saporem uUum sucumve 



Secl.t Mayhoff. ^ x? Mayhoff : xm. 

* ut in ? Mayhoff : ut. 



360 



BOOK XV. XXX. 104-XXX11. 108 

fruits to repay its yearly gratitude to the farmer. 
It likes a north aspect and cold conditions ; moreover 
it can be dried in the sun and stored in casks Hke 
oHves. XXXI. The same amount of care is also Comfiand 
bestoMed on the cornel, and evcn on the lentisk. So ''"'"•*'''• 
that nothing may not appear to have come into 
existence for the sake of man's appetite, flavours are 
blended and different ones are forced to gratify 
different persons ; indeed even the regions of the 
earth and of the sky are blended : in one kind of food 
the aid of India is invoked, in another that of Egypt, 
Crete, Cyrene and every land in turn. Nor does our 
regimen stick at poisons, if only it may devour every- 
thing. This wiU become clearer whcn we come to the 
nature of herbaceous plants. 

XXXII. In the meantime we fmd that there are Varietiesof 
ten kinds of flavours that belong in common to the fSTandof 
fruits andtoalltheir juices; sweet, luscious,unctuous, other objecu). 
bitter, rough, acrid, sharp, harsh, acid and salt. 
Beside these there are three other flavours of a par- 
ticularly remarkable nature : (1) one in which several 
tastes are discerned simultaneously, as in wines — 
for they contain both a rough and a sharp and a sweet 
and a luscious taste, aU of them different from each 
other ; (2) another kind is that which contains both 
the flavour of something else and one that is its own 
and pecuHar to itself, for instance milk — inasmuch as 
milk contains a something which nevertheless cannot 
rightly be caUed sweet or unctuous or luscious, being 
possessed by a smoothness which of itself takes the 
place of a flavour ; (3) water has no flavour at aU 
and no flavouring constituent, yet stiU this very 
fact gives it some taste and mnkes it form a class 
of its own : at aU events for water to have any per- 

361 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

vitium est. magnum his omnibus in odore momentum 
et magna cognatio, qui et ipse nuUus est aquis aut, 
si sentitur omnino, vitium est. mirum tria naturae 
praecipua elementa sine sapore esse, sine odore, 
sine suco, aquas aera ignes. 

109 XXXIII. Ergo sucorum vinosi piro, moro, myrto, 
minimeque, quod miremur, uvis ; pingues olivae, 
lauro, nuci iuglandi, amygdalis, dulces uvis, ficis, 
palmis, aquosi prunis. magna differentia et in colore 
suci : sanguineus moris, cerasis, cornis, uvis nigris, 
idem albis candidus, lacteus in capite ficis, in corpore 
non item, spumeus malis, nullus Persicis, cum prae- 
sertim duracina suco abundent, sed quis eius uUum 
dixerit colorem ? 

110 Sua et in odore miracula. malis acutus, Persicis 
dilutus, dulcibus nullus ; nam et vinum tale sine 
odore, tenue odoratias, multoque celerius talia ad 
usum veniunt quam pinguia. quae odorata non 
eadem ^ gustu tenera, quia non sunt pariter odor et 
sapor; quamobrem citreis odor acerrimus, sapoi 
asperrimus, quadamtenus et cotoneis ; nullusque 
odor ficis. 

^ eadem in codd. : an eadem dclendum ? Mayhoff. 
362 



BOOK XV. xAxii. io8-.\\xrii. iio 

ceptible taste or flavour is a dcfcct. In all these 
flavours smell is of great importance and a great 
factor of aflnnity ; in the case of water even smell 
is entirely absent, or if perceptible at all is a defect. 
It is a remarkable fact that the three chief natural 
elements, water, air and fire, have neither taste, 
smell, nor any flavour whatever. 

XXXIII. Among juices, then,those with a vinous Coiour and 
flavour are the juices of the pear, the mulberry and j^^^,^-^-^'""''* 
the myrtle-berry, and surprising as it may seem, the 
juice of the grape least of all. The juice of the oHve, 
laurel, walnut and almond is unctuous, that of grapes, 
figs and dates is sweet, and that of plums watery. 
There is also a great difference in the colour of juice : 
that of the mulberry, the cherry, the cornel and 
the black grape is blood-red ; the juice of white 
grapes is of a light colour ; fig juice is milky white 
in the part near the stalk but not in the body of 
the fruit ; apple juice is the colour of foam ; 
peach juice has no colour at all, in spite of the 
fact that the hard peach has a large quantity of 
juice, but no one would say that this has any 
colour. 

Smell also contains its own marvels. Apples have 
a pungent scent, peaches a weak one, and sweet 
fruits none at all ; for even sweet wine has no smell, 
although thin wine has more aroma, and wincs of that 
class become fit for use much sooner than those with 
more body. Fruits with a scent are not Hkewise 
agreoable to the palate, as scent and flavour do not go 
together — so that citrons have a very penetrating 
smell and a very rough taste, and in some degree 
that is the case with quinces also ; and figs have 
no smell. 

363 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

111 XXXIV. Et hactenus sint species ac genera pomo- 
rum : naturas artius colligi par est. alia siliquis distin- 
guntur,^ ipsis dulcibus semenque conplexis amarum, 
cum in pluribus semina placeant, in siliqua damnentur ; 
alia bacis, quarum intus lignum et extra caro, ut 
olivis, cerasis. aliquorum intus bacae, foris lignum, 

112 ut iis quae in Aegypto diximus gigni. quae bacis 
natura eadem et pomis : aliorum intus corpus et 
foris lignum, ut nucum; aliis foris corpus, intus 
lignum, ut Persicis et prunis, vitiumque cinctum 
fructu, cum fructus alibi muniatur vitio. putamine 
clauduntur nuces, corio castaneae ; detrahitur hoc 
iis, at in mespiUs manditur. crusta teguntur glandes, 
cute uvae, corio et membrana Punica. carne et suco 

113 mora constant, cute et suco cerasi. quaedam statim 
a ligno recedunt, ut nuces et palmae ; quaedam 
adhaerent, ut ohvae laurusque ; quorundam generi 
utraque est natura, ut in Persicis : etenim duracinis 
adhaeret corpus et ligno avelH non quit, cum in ceteris 
facile separetur. quibusdam nec intus nec extra 

114 hgnum, ut in palmarum genere. aliquorum hgnum 

^ Mayhoff : tinguntur aut gignuntur. 



BOOK XV. XXXIV. 111-114 

XXXIV. And so much for the various classes and Variotu 
kinds of fruits. Their structures call for closer ^SS^^Si 
examination. Some fruits are characterized by *^'??"'' ^'^'"'^ 
their pods, which are themselves sweet and which 
enclose a seed that is bitter, since whereas in fairly 
many plants the seeds are agreeable, seeds con- 
tained in a pod are not approved of. Others are 
characterized by berries which have a hard kernel 
inside and flesh outside, for instance ohves and 
cherries. Some have the berries inside and a hard 
shell outside, as is the case with the fruit we spoke 
of that grows in Egypt. Fruits of the apple kind xiii. 60. 
have the same structure as the berries : some have 
flesh inside and a hard case outside, as in the case 
of nuts ; while others have flesh outside and a 
hard stone inside, as is the case with peaches and 
plums, which thus have the refuse part wrapped 
round with the fruit, whereas in other cases the fruit 
is shiekled by the refuse part. Nuts are enclosed in a 
shell, chestnuts in a skin ; with chestnuts the skin is 
removed, but in the case of medlars it is eaten. 
Acorns are covered with a hard shell, grapes with a 
skin, pomegranates with an outer skin and an inner 
skin. Mulberries consist of flesh and juice, cherries 
of skin and juice. Some fruits separate from their 
woody part at once, for instance nuts and dates, but 
some adhere to it, for instance oUves and laurel- 
berries ; and one group has both properties, for 
example peaches, inasmuch as in the hard peach 
or nectarine the flesh adhcres and cannot be torn 
away from the stone, wliereas in all the other 
sorts it is easily separated. Some fruits have no 
stone inside and no shell outside, for instance the 
date class. Of some kinds the hard part itself is 

365 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

ipsum in usu et pomi vice, ut cuci ^ quam in Aegypto 
diximus. quorundam extra geminantur vitia, ut in 
castaneis et amygdalis nucibusque iuglandibus. 
quorundam natura trigemina : corpus est, dein lig- 
num rursusque semen in ligno, ut Persicis. quaedam 
inter se densa, ut uvae, sorba, quae ramos circumdata 
ex omni parte uvarum modo degravant ; alia rara, ut 

115 in Persicis. quaedam alvo continentur, ut granata ; 
depcndent alia pediculis, ut pira, alia racemis, ut 
uvae, palmae, alia et pediculis et racemis, ut hederae, 
sabuci. alia ramo adhaerent, ut in lauru, quaedam 
utroque modo, ut oUvae, nam et breves pedicuH et 
longi. quaedam vascuUs constant, ut Punica et 

116 mespila lotosque in Aegypto et Euphrate. iam vero 
diversa gratia et commendatio. carne palmae 
placent, crusta Thebaicae, suco uvae et caryotae, 
caUo pira ac mala, corpore mora, cartilagine nuclei, 
grano quaedam in Aegypto, cute Caricae : detrahitur 
haec ficis virentibus ut putamen, eisdemque ^ in siccis 

117 maxime placet. in papyris et feruUs spinaque alba 
cauUs ipse pomum est, sicut ^ et ficulni caules, in 
fruticoso genere cum caule capparis ; in siUquis vero 
quod manditur quid nisi Ugnum est ? non omittenda 
seminis earum proprietate : nam neque corpus nec 

1 Detlefsen : ut genera mydis (ut genera e nucleis quaedam 
in Mayhoff). 

'^ eademque Mayhoff. 
^ Mayhoff : sunt. 

" Cf. p. 134, note b. 
366 



BOOK XV. XXXIV. 114-117 

used and serves as fruit, for instance the cuci'* which 
we spoke of as growing in Egypt. Some fruits have xiii. 62. 
a double refuse-covering, as in the case of chestnuts 
and almonds and walnuts. Some have a threefold 
structure — there is flesh and then shell and then 
again a seed inside the shell — for instance peaches. 
Some fruits grow in clusters, for instance grapes and 
sorbs, the latter cHnging all round the branches and 
weighing them down, Uke grapes ; but others hang 
separately, as in the case of the peach. Some fruits 
are contained in a matrix, for instance pomegranates; 
some hang down from a stalk, for instance pears, 
others hang in bunches, for instance grapes and 
dates, and others hang from a stalk and form bunches 
as well, for instance ivy-berries and elder-berries. 
Others are attached to a branch, Hke the berry on the 
laurel, while certain kinds hang in both ways, for 
instance olives, for they have both short stalks and 
long ones. Some consist of capsules, for instance 
the pomegranate, the medlar and the lotus in 
Egypt and on the Euphrates. Then again fruits 
have a variety of attractions to recommend them. 
Dates please us by their flesh, but the dates of the 
Thebaid by their hard skin ; grapes and nut-dates by 
their juice, pears and apples by their firm flesh, 
mulberries by their substance, nuts by their solid 
interior, certain fruits in Egypt by their pips, Carian 
figs by their skin : this is removed from green figs as 
refuse, but in dried figs it is very agreeable. In the 
case of the papyrus, the fennel-giant and the wiiite 
thorn the stalk itself is the fruit, as are the stalks of 
the fig-tree, and in the shrub class the caper with its 
stalk ; but in the carob the only part that is eaten is 
the wood — while its seed has a property that must 

367 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

lignum nec cartilago dici potest, neque aliud nomen 
inveniat. 

118 XXXV. Sucorum natura praecipuam admirationem 
in myrto habet, quando ex una omnium olei vinique 
bina genera fiunt, item myrtidanum, ut diximus. et 
alius usus bacae fuit apud antiquos, antequam piper 
reperiretur, illam optinentis ^ vicem, in quodam 
etiam genere opsonii nomine inde tracto, quod 
etiam nunc myrtatum vocatur. eademque origine 
aprorum sapor commendatur, plerumque ad intinctus 
additis myrtis. 

119 XXXVI. Arbor ipsa in Europae citeriore caelo, 
quod a Cerauniis montibus incipit, primum Cerceis 
in Elpenoris tumulo visa traditur, Graecumque ei 
nomen remanet, quo peregrinam esse apparet. fuit 
ubi nunc Roma est iam cura conderetur, quippe ita 
traditur, myrtea verbena Romanos Sabinosque, cum 
propter raptas virgines dimicare voluissent, depositis 
armis purgatos in eo loco qui nunc signa Veneris 
Cluacinae habet : cluere enim antiqui purgare 

120 dicebant. et in ea quoque arbore suffimenti genus 
habetur, ideo tum electa quoniam coniunctioni et 
huic arbori Venus praeest, haud scio an prima etiam 
omnium in locis pubUcis Romae sata, fatidico quidem ^ 
et memorabih augm'io. inter antiquissima namque 



^ obtinentis ? MayhojJ : obtinens. 
* quodam ? Rackham. 



368 



BOOK XV. xxxiv. 117-XXXV1. 120 

not be omitted : it cannot be called either flesh or 
wood or cartihige, and it would not be given any 
other name. 

XXX\\ The nature of the juices produced is par- Myrtiejuxce. 
ticularly remarkable in the case of the myrtle, 
because it is the only one among all the trees that 
gives two kinds of oil and of wine, beside the drink 
called myrtidanum, as we said. In former times xiv. 104. 
another use was also made of the myrtle-berry, 
which held the place of pepper before pepper was 
discovered ; in fact, in the case of one kind of savoury 
dish the name is derived from this, it being to this 
day called myrtle sausage. Also the flavour of wild 
boar is improved from the same source, as the pickle 
usually has myrtle-berries added to it. 

XXX\'I. The actual tree is recorded to have been iiuioryof 
seen for the first time on the hither side of Europe, ^atRotm! 
beginning from the Ceraunian Mountains, on the 
grave of Elpenor at Circello, and it still keeps its Greek 
name, showing it to be an exotic. At the time of the 
foundation of Rome myrtles grew on the present site 
of the city, as tradition says that the Romans and 
Sabines, after having wanted to fight a battle because 
of the carrying off of the maidens, laid down their 
arms and purified themselves with sprigs of myrtle, at 
the place now occupied by the etatues of Venus 
Cluacina, cluere being the old word meaning ' to 
cleanse.' And a kind of incense for fumigation is 
also contained in this tree, which was selected for the 
purpose on the occasion referred to because Venus the 
guardian spirit of the tree also presides over unions, 
and I rather think that it was actually the first of 
all trees to be planted in pubUc places at Rome, fraught 
indeed with a prophetic and remarkable augury. 

369 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

delubra habetur Quirini, hoc est ipsius RomuH. in 
eo sacrae fuere myrti duae ante aedem ipsam per 
longum tempus, altera patricia appellata, altera 

121 plebeia. patricia multis annis praevaluit exuberans 
ac laeta ; quamdiu senatus quoque floruit, illa ingens, 
plebeia retorrida ac squahda. quae postquam 
evaluit flavescente patricia, a Marsico bello languida 
auctoritas patrum facta est, ac paulatim in sterilita- 
tem emarcuit maiestas. quin et ara vetus fuit 
Veneri Myrteae, quam nunc Murciam vocant. 

122 XXXVII. Cato tria genera myrti prodidit, nigram, 
candidam, coniugulam, fortassis a coniugiis, ex illo 
Cluacinae genere ; nunc et aha distinctio sativae aut 
silvestris et in utraque latifoliae ; in silvestri propria 
oxymyrsine. sativarimi genera topiarii faciunt Taren- 
tinam folio minuto, nostratem patulo, hexasticham 
densissimo, senis foHorum versibus. haec non est in 
usu, ramosa atque non alta.^ coniugulam existimo 

123 nunc nostratem dici. myrtus odoratissima Aegypto. 

1 atque n (= non) alta Mayhoff: utque in alia (utique in 
Italia Sillig). 

» De Re Rustica, VJII. 2, CXXXUI. 2. 

370 



BOOK XV. XXXVI. I20-XXXVII. 123 

For the shrine of Quirinus, that is of Romulus himself, 
is held to be one of the most ancient temples. In it 
there were two sacred myrtles, whicli for a long time 
grew in front of the actual temple, and one of them 
was called the patricians' myrtle and the other the 
common people's. For many years the patricians' 
tree was the more flourishing of the two, and was full 
of vigour and vitahty ; as long as the senate flourished 
this was a great tree, while the common people's 
myrtle was shrivelled and withered. But after the 
latter had grown strong while the patrician myrtle 
began to turn yellow, from the Marsian war onward 9i 88 b.c. 
the authority of the Fathers became weak, and by 
slow degrees its grandeur withered away into 
barrenness. Moreover there was also an old altar 
belonging to Venus Myrtea, whose modern name is 
Murcia. 

XXX\"II. Cato mentioned " three kinds of myrtle, Varietiesof 
the black, the white and the ' union myrtle ' — per- '"^'■"^- 
haps named after marriage unions — descended from 
the stock of the Cluacina myrtle mentioned above ; § ii9. 
but at the present day there is also another classi- 
fication, which distinguishes the cultivated and the 
wild myrtle, and in each of these also a wide-leaved 
variety, while the variety called oxymyrsine occurs 
only in the wild kind. Varieties of the cultivated 
myrtle produced by landscape-gardeners are the 
Taranto myrtle with a very sniall leaf, the Roman 
myrtle with a broad leaf, and the ' six-row ' myrtle 
with very thick foliage, the leaves growing in rows of 
six. The last is not much grown, being bushy and 
not lofty. I beheve that the union-myrtle is now 
called the Roman myrtle. The myrtle with the 
most powerful scent belongs to Egypt. Cato taught 

371 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

Cato docuit vinum fieri e nigra siccata usque in aridi- 
tatem in umbra atque ita musto indita : si non siccen- 
tur bacae, oleum gigni. postea conpertum et ex alba 
vinum fieri album, duobus sextariis myrti tusae in 
vini tribus heminis maceratae expressaeque. folia et 
per se siccantur in farinam ad ulcerum remedia in 
corpore humano leniter mordaci pulvere ac refri- 

124 gerandis sudoribus. quinimmo oleo quoque, mirum 
dictu, inest quidam vini sapor simulque pinguis 
Hquor, praecipua vi ad corrigenda vina saccis ante 
perfusis : retinet quippe faecem, nec praeter purum 
liquorem transire patitur datque se comitem praeci- 
pua commendatione liquato. virgae quoque eius, 
gestatae modo viatori, prosunt in longo itincre pediti. 
quin et virgei anuli expertes ferri inguinum tumori 
medentur. 

125 XXXVIII. Bellicis quoque se rebiLS inseruit, trium- 
phansque de Sabinis P. Postumius Tubertus in consu- 
latu, qui primus omnium ovans ingressus urbem est, 
quoniam rem leniter sine cruore gesserat myrto Vene- 
ris victricis coronatus incessit optabilemque arborem 
etiam hostibus fecit. haec postea ovantium fuit 
372 



BOOK XV. XXXVII. 123-XXXV111. 125 

how to make wine from the black myrtle, by drying 
it in the shade until no moisture remained and then 
putting it in must ; he says that if the berrics are not 
thoroughly dried, oil is produced. Afterwards a way 
was also discovered of making a white wine from the 
pale variety , by steeping a quart of pounded myrtle in 
a pint and a half of wine and then pressing out the 
hquor. The leaves are also dried by themselves 
till they go to a powder, which is used as a cure for 
sores on the human body, the powder being slightly 
corrosive and serving to cool off the perspiration. 
Moreover, the oil also curiously enough contains a 
certain flavour of wine, and at the same time has a 
greasy fluidity which makes it specially efficacious 
for improving wines if it is poured over the wine- 
strainers before they are used ; this is because the 
oil retains the lees and only allows the pure liquor to 
pass through, and unites with the wine after it has 
been strained, greatly improving it. Sprigs of myrtle 
also merely by being carried by a traveller are bene- 
ficial whcn making a long journey on foot. More- 
over, rings made of myrtle twigs which have never 
been touched by iron are a cure for swellings in the 
groin. 

XXXMII. The myrtle has also claimed a part in Myrtie- 
matters of warfare, and Pubhus Postumius Tubertus, ^ations^ 
the first of all men who ever entered the city with an 
ovation, during his consulship celebrated a triumph 503 b.c. 
over the Sabines, and because he had won the cam- 
paign easily, without bloodshed, he made his entry 
wearing a wreath made of the myrtle of Venus 
\'ictrix, and so made that tree a coveted object even 
for our enemies. Subsequently a myrtle wreath was 
regularly worn by generals celebrating an ovation, 

373 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

corona excepto M. Crasso qui de fiigitivis et Spartaco 

126 laurea coronatus incessit. Masurius auctor est curru 
quoque triumphantes myrtea corona usos. L. Piso 
tradit Papirium Masonem, qui primus in monte 
Albano triumphavit de Corsis, myrto coronatum 
ludos Circenses spectare soUtum : avus maternus 
Africani sequentis hic fuit. M. Valerius duabus 
coronis utebatur, laurea et myrtea, quia ^ hoc 
voverat. 

127 XXXIX. Laurus triumphis proprie dicatur, vel 
gratissima domibus, ianitrix Caesarimi pontificum- 
que ; sola et domos exornat et ante limina excubat. 
duo eius genera tradidit Cato, Delphicam et Cypriam. 
Pompeius Lenaeus adiecit quam mustacem appella- 
vit, quoniam mustaceis subiceretur: hanc esse folio 
maximo flaccidoque et albicante, Delphicam aequaH 
colore viridiorem, maximis bacis atque e viridi ru- 
bentibus ; hac ^ victores Delphis coronari ut trium- 

128 phantes Romae. Cypriam esse folio brevi, nigro, 
per margines imbricato crispam. postea accessere 
genera ^ : tinus — hanc silvestrem laurum ahqui 

129 intellegunt, nonnulh sui generis arborem : differt 
color, est enim caerula baca. accessit et regia, quae 

^ quia ? Mayhoff : qui et. 

2 Edd. : ac. 

^ genera (plura) ? MaTfhoff. 

» I.e. when they were baked; Cato R.R. CXXI, 2, says 
that these cakes were made of fine wheat, must, anise, cummin, 
lard and cheese, and scraped laurel sprigs. 

* Our Laurus tinus. 

374 



BOOK XV. xxxviii. 125-XXXIX. 129 

w!th the exception of Marcus Crassu.s,\vho when cele- 
brating his victory won from the runaway slaves and 
Spartacus, made his entry wearing a wreath of laurels. 
Masurius informs us that generals going in triumph 
in a chariot also used to wear a myrtle wreath. 
Lucius Piso records that Papirius Maso, the first 
general who held a triumph on the Alban Mount, in 71 b.o. 
celebration of his victory over the Corsicans, was in 
the habit of wearing a wreath of myrtle when watch- 
ing the games in the circus : he was the maternal 
grandfather of the second Africanus. Marcus 
Valerius wore two wreaths, one of laurel and one of 
myrtle, having made a vow to do so. 

XXXIX. The laurel is especially assigned to Thebay-tree 
triumphs,but it is extremely decorative for dweUing- ^Zdin^^^' 
houses, and guards the portals of the emperors and the Qardens -, Us 
high priests ; there it hangs alone, adorning the man- 
sions and keeping sentry-guard before the thresholds. 
Cato has recorded two species of laurel, the Delphic cxxxiii. 
and the Cyprian. Pompeius Lenaeus added one 
which he called mustax, because it was placed under- 
neath mustacean cakes : ° he said that this has a 
very large, pendulous leaf of a whitish colour, and 
that the Delphic laurel is a uniform greener colour, 
and has very large berries of a reddish green ; and 
that this laurel is used to make wreaths for the 
winners at Delphi, as it is for generals going in 
triumph at Rome. He states that the Cyprus laurel 
is crinkly, with a short black leaf that curves up along 
the edges. Since his time varieties have been added : 
the tine tree ^ — this some take to be the wild laurel, 
but there are people who think that it is a separate 
kind of tree : indeed there is a difference of colour, 
the berry being bright blue. Another addition is 

375 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

coepit Augusta appellari, amplissima et arbore et 
folio, bacis gustatu quoque non asperis. aliqui 
negant eandem esse et suum genus regiae faciunt 

130 longioribus foliis latioribusque. iidem in alio genere 
bacaliam appellant hanc quae vulgatissima est 
bacarimique fertilissima, sterilem vero earum, quod 
maxime miror, triumphalem, eaque dicunt trium- 
phantes uti, nisi id a divo Augusto coepit, ut 
docebimus, ex ^ ea lauru quae ei missa e caelo est 
minima altitudine, foHo crispo, brevi, inventu rara. 
accedit in topiario opere Thasia,^ excrescente in 
medio folio parvola veluti lacinia foUi, et sine ea 
spadonina mira opacitatis patientia, itaque quanta- 

131 Ubeat sub umbra solum implet. est et chamae- 
daphne sih'estris frutex et Alexandrina, quam aUqui 
Idaeam, aUi hypoglottion, aUi danaen, aUi carpo- 
phyUon, aUi hypelaten vocant. ramos spargit a 
radice dodrantales, coronarii operis, foUo acutiore 
quam myrti ac moUiore et candidiore et maiore, 
semine inter foUa rubro, plurima in Ida et circa 

132 Heracleam Ponti, nec nisi in montuosis. id quoque 
quod daphnoidis vocatur genus in nominum ambitu 

1 et? Mayhoff. 

2 V.l. taxa. 



" ' With a tongue below ' : this seems more appropriate 
to the Thasos laurel mentioned above. 
^ ' With the berry attached to the leaf.' 
« ' Throwing out shoots from undemeath.' 



BOOK XV. xxxix. 129-132 

the royal laurel, which has begun to be called the 
Augusta laurel, a very large tree with a very large 
leaf and berries without any rough taste. Some say 
that the royal laurel and the Augusta are not tlie 
same, and make out the royal to be a special kind, 
with longer and broader leaves. The same persons 
place in another class, under the name of bacaha, the 
iaurel which is the commonest of all and bears the 
largest number of berries, but much to my surprise 
give the name of triumphal laurel to one that has no 
berries, and say that this is the one used by persons 
celebrating a triumph— unless the use of it began 
with his late Majesty Augustus, as we shall show, as 
sprung from the laurel which was sent down to him 
from heaven, which was a very low growing tree with 
a short, crinkled leaf, and very rarely met with. In 
ornamental gardening there is also the Thasos laurel, 
which has a tiny leafy fringe as it were growing out 
of the middle of the leaf, and the gelded laurel, with- 
out this fringe, which is remarkably able to stand 
lack of sun and which consequently fills the ground 
with its shoots in however shady a place. There is 
also the ground laurel, a shrub that grows wild, and 
Alexandrine laurel, which some call Idaean, others 
hypoglottion,« others Danae, others carpophyllon,* 
others hypelates.*^ This laurel spreads out branches 9 
inches long from its root, and is useful for making 
wreaths ; the leaf is more pointed than that of the 
myrtle, and softer, brighter in colour and larger; the 
seed, which lies between the leaves, is red; it grow^s 
in great abundance on Mount Ida and in the vicinity 
of Heraclea in Pontus, and it only occurs in mountain 
districts. Also the class of laurel called daphnoides 
is involved in a competition of nomenclature, as some 

VOL. IV. N 377 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

est : alii enim Pelasgum, alii eupetalon, alii stephanon 
Alexandri vocant. et hic frutex est ramosus, cras- 
siore ac molHore quam laurus foUo, cuius gustatu 
accendatur os, bacis e nigro rufis. notatum antiquis, 
nullum genus laurus in Corsica fuisse, quod nunc 
satum et ibi provenit. 

133 XL. Ipsa pacifera, ut quam praetendi etiam inter 
armatos hostes quietis sit indicium. Romanis prae- 
cipue laetitiae victoriarumque nuntia additur litteris 
et militum lanceis piHsque, fasces imperatorum 

134 decorat. ex his in gremio lovis optimi maximique 
deponitur quotiens laetitiam nova victoria adtuht, 
idque non quia perpetuo viret, nec quia pacifera est, 
praeferenda ei utroque olea, sed quia spectatissima 
in monte Parnaso ideoque etiam grata ApolUni visa, 
adsuetis eo dona mittere, oracula inde repetere iam 
et regibus Romanis teste L. Bruto, fortassis etiam in 
argumentum, quoniam ibi hbertatem pubUcam is 
meruisset lauriferam teUurem iUam osculatus ex 
responso, et quia manu satarum receptarumque in 

135 domos fulmine sola non icitur. ob has causas equidem 



" See Livy I. 56. L. Junius, nephew of Tarquinius 
Superbus, in order to escape the fate of his elder brother whom 
Tarquin had murdered, feigned idiocy, and hence got the 
name of Brutus. He accompanied Tarquin's sons to Delphi 
to consuU the oracle as to the portent of a snake that had 
appeared in the king's palace. The two princes took the 
opportunity of asking the oracle who should succeed to the 
throne. The answer given was : The one who first kisses his 
inother. Brutus pretended to stumble and kissed the earth, 
the mother of aU mankind. 



378 



BOOK XV. XXXIX. 132-XL. 135 

call it the Pelasgian laurel, others tlie leafy laurel, 
others Alexander's crown. This also is a bushy shrub, 
with a thicker and softer leaf than the ordinary 
laurel, which leaves a burning taste in the moulh; 
the bcrries are a blackish red. The older writers 
noted that there was no variety of laurel that grew 
in Corsica ; but it has now been introduced there 
with successful results. 

XL. Thehiurelitself isabringerofpeace,inasmuch Laurei 
as to hold out a branch of it even between enemy tokm^Sf'^^ 
armies is a token of a cessation of hostihties. With ^o/'^* 
the Romans especially it is used as a harbinger of re- lictory. 
joicing and of victory, accompanying despatches and 
decorating the spears and javehns of the soldiery and 
adorning the generals' rods of ofiice. From this tree 
a braneh is deposited in the lap of Jupiter the All-good 
and AU-great whenever a fresh victory has brought 
rejoicing, and this is not because the laurel is con- 
tinually green, nor yet because it is an emblem of 
peace, as the ohve is to be preferred to it in both 
respects, but because it flourishes in the greatest 
beauty on Mount Parnassus and consequently is 
thought to be also dear to Apollo, to whose shrine even 
the kings of Rome at that early date were in the 
custom of sending gifts and asking for oracles in 
return, as is evidenced by the case of Brutus ; 
another reason also is perhaps to supply a token, be- 
cause it was there that Brutus won freedom for the 
people by kissing the famous plot of earth that bore 
the laurel, at the direction of the oracular utterance ^ ; 
and another possible reason is that the laurel alone 
of all the shrubs planted by rnan and received into our 
houses is never struck by hghtning. I personally am 
inchned to beheve that it is for these reasons that the 

379 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

crediderim honorem ei habitum in triumphis potius 
quam quia suffimentum sit caedis hostium et purgatio, 
ut tradit Masurius. adeoque in profanis usibus 
pollui lauriun et oleam fas non est, ut ne propitiandis 
quidem numinibus aecendi ex iis altaria araeve 
debeant. laurus quidem manifesto abdicat ignes 
crepitu et quadam detestatione, interaneorum etiam 
vitia et nervorum Hgno torquente. Ti. principem 
tonante caelo coronari ea solitum ferunt contra 
fulminum metus. 

136 Sunt et circa divum Augustum eventa eius digna 
memoratu. namque Liviae Drusillae, quae postea 
Augustam matrimonii nomen accepit, cum pacta 
esset illa Caesari, gaUinam conspicui candoris sedenti 
aquila ex alto abiecit in gremium inlaesam, intre- 
pideque miranti accessit miraculum, quoniam teneret 
in 1 rostro laureum ramum onustum suis bacis ; 
conservari aUtem et subolem iussere haruspices 

137 ramumque eum seri ac rite custodiri : quod factum 
est in villa Caesarum fluvio Tiberi inposita iuxta 
nonum lapidem Flaminiae viae, quae ob id vocatur 
Ad galHnas ; mireque silva ea provenit : ex ea 
trimnphans postea Caesar laurum in manu tenuit 

^ Mayhoff : tenentem. 
380 



BOOK XV. xL. 135-137 

placeof honour has been assigned to it in triumphs, 
rather than because it was employed, as Masurius 
records, for the purpose of fumigation and purifica- 
tion from the blood of the enemy. And it is so 
strongly forbidden to poUute the laurel and the oHve 
in profane uses, that they must not be employed even 
for kindhng a fire at altars and shrines in propitiating 
the deities. The laurel indeed manifestly expresses 
objection to the appHcation of fire by crackUng and 
making a solemn protest, the timber actually giving 
a twist to the cracks in its intestines and sinews. It is 
stated that the emperor Tiberius used to put a ^\Teath 
from this tree on his head when there was a thunder- 
storm as a protection against danger from Hghtning. 

There are also occurrences related to the laurel Historicai 
that are worth recalHng in connexion with his late^o,£' 
Majesty Augustus. When Livia DrusiHa, who after- ^"'"«^- 
wards received the name of Augusta on her marriage, 
had been betrothed to Caesar, while she was seated 
an eagle dropped into her lap from the sky a hen 
of remarkable whiteness, without hurting it ; she 
rcgarded it with wonder, but undismayed, and there 
was a further miracle : it was holding in its beak a 
laurel branch bearing its berries. So the augurs 
ordered that the bird and any chickens it produced 
should be preserved, and that the branch should be 
planted in the ground and guarded with reHgious 
care. This was done at the country mansion of the 
Caesars standing on the banks of the river Tiber about 
nine miles out on the Flaminian road ; the house is 
consequently caHed The Poidtry, and the laurel grove 
so begun has thriven in a marveHous way. After- 
wards the Emperor when going in a triumph held a 
laurel branch from the original tree in his hand and 

381 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

coronamque capite gessit, ac deinde imperatores 
Caesares cimcti ; traditusque mos est ramos quos 
tenuerant ^ serendi, et durant silvae nominibus suis 
discretae, fortassis ideo mutatis triumphalibus. 
138 Unius arborum Latina lingua nomen inponitur 
viris, unius folia distinguntur appellatione, lauream 
enim vocamus. durat et in m'be inpositum loco, 
quando Loretum in Aventino vocatur ubi silva 
lam*usfuit. eadera purificationibus adhibetur ; testa- 
tumque sit obiter et ramo eam seri, quoniam dubi- 
tavere Democritus atque Theophrastus. 
Nunc dicemus silvestrium naturas. 

^ Eackham : tenuerunt. 



382 



BOOK XV. xL. 137-138 

wore a wrcath of its foliage on his head, and subse- 
quently every one of the ruHng Caesars did the same ; 
and the custom was estabhshed of planting the 
branches which they had held, and groves of laurels 
distinguished by their names ^* still survive ; and it 
was perhaps in consequence of this that the change 
was made in the laurels worn in triumphs. § 130. 

The laurel is the only tree the name of which is ^^« ««* «'» 
used in Latin as a man's name,* and the only tree ^*'*'^*' 
whose leaves have a special name apphed to them — 
we call them bay-leaves. The name of the tree also 
survives as a place-name in Kome, as there is a 
locaHty on the Aventine called Loretto where there 
was once a laurel grove. Moreover, the laurel is 
employed in rituals of purification ; and incidentally 
it should be stated that it can even be grown from a 
slip, as this has been doubted by Democritus and 
Theophrastus. 

\Ve will now describe the various forest trees. 

" I.e. each tree bearing the name of the emperor who had 
held the bough from which it had grown. 

* E.g. Laurea Tullius, a freedman of Cicero : XXXI. 7. 



383 



BOOK XVI 



LIBER XVI 

I. PoMiFERAE arbores quaequae mitioribus sucis 
voluptatem primae cibis attulerunt et necessario 
alimento delicias miscere docuerunt, sive illae ultro 
sive 1 ab homine didicere blandos sapores adoptione 
et conubio — idque munus etiam ^ feris volucribusque 
dedimus ^ — intra praedictas constant. proximum erat 
narrare glandiferas, quae primae victum mortalium 
aluerunt nutrices inopis ac ferae sortis, ni praeverti 
cogeret admiratio usu conperta, quaenam qualisque 
esset vita sine arbore ulla, sine fruticc viventium. 

2 Diximus esse * in oriente quidem iuxta oceanum 
complures ea in necessitate gentes ; sunt vero et in 
septentrione visae nobis Chaucorum qui maiores 
minoresque appellantur. vasto ibi meatu bis dierum 
noctiumque singularum intervaUis effusus in in- 
mensum agitur oceanus, operiens aeternam ^ rerum 
naturae controversiam dubiamque terrae ® an partem 

3 maris. illic, misera gens, tumulos optinent altos aut 

^ sive add. edd. vet. 
- etiam a Deilefsen. 
^ V.l. didicimus. 

* Rackham : diximus et. 
^ V.l. alternam. 

^ Mayhoff: terrae sit (terrae sit pars an maris CorneZissew). 

•* I.e., grafting and inoculation. 

* A variant text, adopted by Detiefsen, gives ' havo also 
leamt from.' 

386 



BOOK XVI 

I. Among the trees already mentioncd arc includcd ForesttTees. 
the fruit-trees and those which by their mellower 
juices first added the element of pleasure to food 
and taught us to mingle reUshcs with our necessary 
nutriment, whether they did so of their own accord 
or whether they learnt from mankind to acquire 
agreeable flavours by means of adoption and inter- 
marriage " — and this is a service which we have 
also rendered to ^ beasts and birds. Next would have 
come an account of the acorn-bearing trees which 
first produced food for mortal man and were the foster- 
mothers of his helpless and savage lot, if we were 
not compelled by a sense of wonder learnt from ex- 
perience to tum first to the question, what is the nature 
and what are the characteristics of the Hfe of people 
Hving without any trees or any shrubs. 

We have indeed stated that in the east, on the Cotmtries 
shores of the ocean, a number of races are in this 
necessitous condition ; but so also are the races of 
people called the Greater and the Lesser Chauci, 
whom we have seen in the north. There twice in xiii. 139. 
each period of a day and a night the ocean with its 
vast tide sweeps in a flood over a measureless expanse, 
covering up Nature's age-long controversy and the 
region disputed as belonging whether to the land or to 
the sea. Thcre this miserable race occupy elevated 

387 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

tribunalia extructa inanibus ad experimenta altissimi 
aestus, casis ita inpositis, navigantibus similes cum 
integant aquae circumdata, naufragis vero cum 
recesserint, fugientesque cum mari pisces circa 
tuguria venantur. non pecudem his habere, non 
lacte ali ut finitimis, ne cum feris quidem dimicare 

4 contingit omni procul abacto frutice. ulva et palustri 
iunco funis nectunt ad praetexenda piscibus retia, 
captumque manibus lutum ventis magis quam sole 
siccantes terra cibos et rigentia septentrione viscera 
sua urunt. potus non nisi ex imbre servato scrobibus 
in vestibulo domus. et hae gentes, si vincantur 
hodie a populo Romano, servire se dicunt! ita 
est profecto : multis fortuna parcit in poenam. 

5 11. Aliud e silvis miraculum : totam reliquam Ger- 
maniam referciunt ^ adduntque frigori umbras, altissi- 
mae tamen haut procul supra dictis Chaucis circa duos 
praecipue lacus. litora ipsa optinent quercus maxi- 
ma aviditate nascendi, sufFossaeque fluctibus aut 
propulsae flatibus vastas conplexu radicum insulas 
secum auferunt, atque ita Hbratae stantes navigant, 
ingentium ramorum armamentis saepe territis classi- 

: ^ referciunt ? Mayhoff (operiunt Detlefsen) : reperiunt aut 
referunt. 



' I.e. turves. 

* A paraphrase of the verse Fortuna multis parcere in 
poenam solet, ascribed to Laberius. The meaning here seems 
to be that for backward races it is a misfortune not to be 
conquered by Rome. 

« Forming the Zuyder Zee. 

388 



BOOK XVI. I. 3-II. 5 

patches of ground or platforms biiilt up by hand 
above the level of the highest tide experienced, 
Hving in huts erected on the sites so chosen, and 
resembUng sailors in ships when the water covers the 
surrounding land, but shipwrecked people when the 
tide has retired, and round their huts they catch the 
fish escaping with the receding tide. It does not 
fall to them to keep herds and hve on milk hke the 
neighbouring tribes, nor even to have to fight with 
wild animals, as all woodland growth is banished 
far away. They twine ropes of sedge and rushes 
from the marshes for the purpose of setting nets to 
catch the fish, and they scoop up mud in their hands 
and dry it by the wind more than by sunshine, and 
with earth ** as fuel warm their food and so their own 
bodies, frozen by the north wind. Their only drink 
is supphed by storing rain-water in tanks in the 
forecourts of their homes. And these are the races 
that if they are nowadays vanquished by the Roman 
nation say that they are reduced to slavery ! That 
is indeed the case : Fortune oft spares men as a 
punishment.* 

II. Another marvel arising from the forests : these Forestsof 
crowd the whole of the remainder of Germany and ^'^"*'* 
augment the cold with their shadow, but the loftiest 
grow not far from the Chauci mentioned above, 
especially round two lakes.*' The actual shores of 
these are occupied by oaks, which grow with extreme 
eagerness, and these when undermined by the 
waves or overthrown by blasts of wind carry away 
with them vast islands of soil in the embrace of their 
roots, and thus balanced, float along standing 
upright, so that our fleets have often been terrified 
by the wide rigging of their huge branches, when they 

389 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

bus nostris, cum velut ex industria fluctibus agerentur 
in proras stantium noctu inopesque remedii illae 
proelium navale adversus arbores inirent. 

6 In eadem septentrionali plaga Hercyniae silvae 
roborum vastitas intacta aevis et congenita mundo 
prope inmortali sorte miracula excedit. ut alia 
omittantur fide caritura, constat attoUi colles occur- 
santium inter se radicum repercussu aut, ubi secuta 
tellus non sit, arcus ad ramos usque et ipsos inter se 
rixantes curvari portarum patentium modo, ut 
tmTnas equitum tramittant. 

Glandiferi maxime generis omnes, quibus honos 

7 apud Romanos perpetuus : III. hinc civicae coro- 
nae, militum virtutis insigne clarissimum, iam 
pridem vero et clementiae imperatorum, postquam 
ci\iUum bellorum profano meritum coepit videri 
civem non occidere. cedunt his murales vallaresque 
et aureae, quamquam pretio antecedentes, cedunt et 
rostratae, quamvis in duobus maxime ad hoc aevi 
celebres, M. Varrone e piraticis bellis dante Magno 
Pompeio itemque M. Agrippa tribuente Caesare e 

8 SicuHs, quae et ipsa piratica fuere. antea rostra 
navium tribunaU praefixa fori decus erant, veluti 



» See IV. 80 n. 

" A Civic Wreath was voted by the senate to Juhus Caesar 
as the saviour of the country, and thenceforward one was 
kept hung up at the door ot the emperor'8 palace. 

' A golden crown decorated with turrets was given to the 
first man who scaled the walls of a besieged city, and one 
ornamented with a palisade to the first who crossed a 
palisaded trench ; and in particular one variety of triumphal 
crown was called corona aurea. One called corona navalis or 
rostraia, decorated with the ' beaks ' of ships, was awarded 
to the first sailor who boarded an enemy ship, and later to a 
naval commander who won a signal victory. 



BOOK XVI. II. 5-III. 8 

seemed to be puqDosely driven by the waves against 
the bows of the ships at anchor for the night, which 
thus were unavoidably compclled to engage in a 
naval battle with trees. 

In the same northern region is the vast expanse 
of the Hercynian oak forest/^ untouched by the ages 
and coeval with the world, which surpasses all marvels 
by its almost immortal destiny. To omit other facts 
that would lack credence, it is well known that 
the colhsion of the roots encountering each other 
raises up hillocks of earth, or, where the ground 
has not kept up to them, their arches in their 
struggle with one another rise as high as the 
branches, and curve over in the shape of open 
gateways, so as to aiford a passage to squadrons 
of cavalry. 

They are practically all of the acorn-bearing Wreathsof 
class of oak, which is ever held in honour at Rome, ^me!^^ 
III. because from it are obtained the Civic Wreaths, 
that glorious emblem of miUtary valour, but now for 
a long time past also an emblem of the emperors' 
clemency,* ever since, owing to the impiety of the 
civil wars, not to kill a fellow-citizen had come to be 
deemed meritorious. Below these rank mural 
crowns and rampart-crowns and also golden crowns,'^ 
although surpassing them in cost, and below them 
Ukewise are beaked crowns, albeit down to the 
present supremely famous in the case of two persons, 
Marcus Varro who was given this honour by Pompey C7 b.o. 
the Great as a result of the wars against the pirates, 
and Hkewise Marcus Agrippa who was awarded it sc b.c. 
by Augustus after the Sicilian wars, which were also 
waged against pirates. Previously the forum was The Rostra. 
graced by the rams of ships fastened in front of the 

391 



PLINY; NATURAL HISTORY 

p. R. ipsi corona inposita. postquam vero tribimiciis 
seditionibus calcari ac pollui coepere, postquam vires 
ex publico in privatum agi singulisque civium quaeri 
et sacrosancti omnia profana facere, tum a pedibus 
eorum subiere in capita civium rostra : dedit hanc 
Augustus coronam Agrippae, sed civicam a genere 
humano accepit ipse. 
9 IV. Antiquitus quidem nulla nisi deo dabatur — ob 
id Homerus caelo tantum eam et proelio universo 
tribuit, viritim vero ne in certamine quidem ulli — 
feruntque primum omnium Liberum patrem impo- 
suisse capiti suo ex hedera. postea deorum honori 
sacrificantes sumpsere victimis simul coronatis. 
10 novissime et in sacris certaminibus usurpatae, in 
quibus hodieque non victori dantur sed patriam ab eo 
coronari pronuntiatur ; inde natum ut et triumpha- 
turis conferrentur in templis dicandae, mox ut et 
ludis darentur. longum est nec instituti operis 
disserere quis quamque Romanorum primus acceperit, 
neque enim alias noverant quam belhcas : quod 



" The platform in the forum from which speakers addressed 
the assembhes was decorated with ' beaks ' or rams of ships 
taken from Antium after its revolt from Rome in 338 b.c; 
it was itself called ' the Rams,' and has given us the word 
' rostrum,' which is perhaps the source of the slang term 
• beak,' meaning a magistrate on the bench. 

* II. XVITI. 485, Tcipea iTdvra to, t' ovpavos iaT€<f>dvo)rai. 

' //. XIII. 736, TTdvTT] ydp (7€ TT€pl aT€<f>avos TToAe/ioio SeSrjev. 

392 



BOOK XVI. III. 8-iv. lo 

platform,'* like a ^vreath crowning the Roman 
nation. But later they began to be trampled on and 
polluted by the seditions of the tribunes, and power 
began to pass from public into private ownership, 
and to be sought for the advancement of individual 
citizens, and the sacrosanct tribunes began to make 
all things profane ; and after this the Rams passed 
from underneath the feet of the speakers to the 
heads of the citizens ; th-is Wreath of Rams Augustus 
bestowed upon Agrippa, but he himself received the 
Civdc Wreath from the whole of mankind. 

IV. In olden times indeed no Civic Wreath was History o/ 
presented save to a deity — that is why Homer assigns hmow. "^ 
a wreath only to heaven ^ and to a whole battle-field,'' 
but to no man individually even in combat — and 
it is said that father Liber was the first to set a crown 
on his own head, a wTeath of ivy. Afterwards persons 
performing sacrifices in honom* of the gods assumed 
crowns, the \ictims being adorned with wTeaths as 
well. Most recently of all they were also brought 
into use in ritual competitions, but in these and at the 
present day they are not bestowed on the winner, 
but an announcement is made that by him a viTeath 
is conferred upon his native place ; and from this 
has arisen the custom of also bestowing wreaths on 
victorious generals about to go in a triumplial pro- 
cession, for them to dedicate as offerings in the 
temples, and also subsequently the practice of 
presenting wreaths at the games. To discuss who 
was the fiirst Roman to receive each kind of wreath 
would be a lengthy matter, and not relevant to 
the plan of this work, and as a matter of fact 
the Roraans were only acquainted with those given 
for mihtary achievements ; but it is a well-known 

393 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

certum est, uni gentium huic plura sunt genera quam 
cunctis. 

11 V. Romulus frondea coronavit Hostum Hostilium, 
quod Fidenam primus inrupisset : avus hic TuUi 
Hostilii regis fuit. P. Decium patrem tribunum 
mihtum frondea donavit exercitus ab eo servatus 
imperatore CorneHo Cosso cos. Samnitium bello. 
civica iligna primo fuit, postea magis placuit ex 
aesculo lovi sacra, variatumque et cum quercu est 
ac data ubique quae fuerat custodito tantum honore 

12 glandis. additae leges artae et ideo superbae 
quasque conferre libeat cum illa Graecorum summa 
quae sub ipso love datur cuique muros patria gaudens 
rumpit: civem servare, hostem occidere, ut ne 
eum ^ locum in quo sit actum hostis optineat eo die, 
ut servatus fateatur — aUas testes nihil prosimt — 

13 ut civis fuerit: auxiUa quamvis rege servato decus 
non dant. nec crescit honos idem imperatore con- 
servato, quoniam conditores in quocumque cive ^ 
smnmum esse voluere. accepta Ucet uti perpetuo; 

^ lan : ut eum. 
2 V.l. civem. 



« The First Samnite War, 343-341 b.c. 
* /.€., the honour of providing a Civic VVreath always fell to 
an acorn-bearing tree of some variety. 

394 



BOOK XVI. IV. lo-v. 13 

fact that this one nation has a greater variety of 
wreaths than all the other nations put together. 

V. Hostas HostiHus, who was the grandfather of Varieties of 
King Tullus HostiUus, was crowned by Roinulus with ^^j^'^' ""*^ 
a garland of leaves for having been the first to enter condnions 
Fidena. The elder PubHus Decius, who was miHtary " ""^"'^ ' 
tribune, received a garland of leaves from the army 
which he had saved from destruction in the war ^ with 
the Samnites when the consul CorneHus Cossus was 343 b.c. 
in command of our army. The Civic Wreath was first 
made of the leaves of the holm-oak, but afterwards 
preference was given to a wreath from the winter oak, 
which is sacred to Jove, and also a variety was made 
with the common oak and the tree growing in the 
particular locaHty was given, only the honour 
awarded to the acorn being preserved.* Strict 
and therefore exclusive conditions were further 
imposed, which may be compared with that supreme 
wreath of the Greeks which is bestowed beneath the 
tutelage of Zeus himself and for which the winner's 
native place in its rejoicing breaks a passage through 
its city waUs ; these conditions were — to save the 
Ufe of a feUow-citizen ; to kiU one of the enemy ; 
that the place where the exploit occurred must not 
be occupied by the enemy on the same day ; that the 
person rescued must admit the fact — witnesses other- 
wise are of no value ; — and that it must have been a 
Roman citizen : auxiUarv^ forces, even though it is a 
king who is rescued, do not bestow this distinction. 
Nor is the same honour any greater if the rescued 
person is a general, because the founders of this 
institution wished the honour to be supreme in 
the case of any citizen. The receiver of the \\Teath 
may wear it for the rest of his Hfe ; wlien he appears 

395 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

ludis ineunti semper adsurgi etiam ab senatu in 
more est, sedendi ius in proximo senatui; vacatio 
munerimi omnium ipsi patrique et avo patemo. 

14 XIV eas accepit Siccius Dentatus, ut retulimus suo 
loco, VI Capitolinus, is quidem et de duce Servilio. 
Africanus de patre accipere noluit apud Trebiam. 
o mores aeternos qui tanta opera honore solo dona- 
verint et, cum reliquas coronas auro commendarent, 
salutem civis in pretio esse noluerint, clare professi 
ne servari quidcm hominem fas esse lucri causa ! 

15 VI. Glande opes nunc quoque multarum gentium 
etiam pace gaudentium constant. nec non et 
inopia frugum arefactis emoUtur farina spissaturque 
in panis usum ; quin et hodieque per Hispanias 
secundis mensis glans inseritur. dulcior eadem in 
cinere tosta. cautum est praeterea lege xii tabu- 
larum ut glandem in alienum fundum procidentem 

IG Hceret colligere. genera earum multa; distant 
fructu, situ, sexu, sapore ; namque aha fageae glandi 
figura, quernae alia et ilignae, atque inter se quoque 
generum singulorum differentiae. praeterea sunt 
aliquae silvestres, aliae placidiores quae culta 



« Hannibal's second victory in the first year of the Second 
Punic War, 218 b.o. 



BOOK XVI. V. 13-V1. 16 

at the games it is the custom for even the senate 
always to rise at his entrance, and he has the right to 
sit next to the senators ; and he himself and his 
father and his paternal grandfather are exempt 
from all pubhc duties. Siccius Dentatus, as we have vii. 102. 
mentioned at the proper place, won fourteen Civic 
Wreaths, and CapitoHnus six, one in his case being 
actually for saving the Hfe of his commanding officer 
Ser\dHus. Scipio Africanus refused to accept a 
wreath for rescuing his father at the Trebbia.** 
How worthy of eternity is a national character that 
rewarded exploits so distinguished with honour 
only, and whereas it enhanced the value of its other 
wreaths with gold, refused to aHow the rescue of a 
citizen to be a thing of price, thus loudly proclaiming 
that it is wrong even to save the Hfe of a human being 
for the sake of gain ! 

VI. Acorns at this very day constitute the wealth Acnmsas 
of many races, even when they are enjoying peace. -f^^jf^^ '"^^''"' 
Moreover also when there is a scarcity of corn they 
are dried and ground into flour which is kneaded to 
make bread ; beside this, at the present day also 
in the Spanish provinces a place is found for acorns 
in the second course at table. Acorns have a 
sweeter flavour when roasted in the ashes. More- 
over it was provided by law in the Twelve Tables 
that it was permissible to gather up acorns falHng 
on to another person's land. There are many kinds 
of acorns, and they differ in their fruit, habitat, sex 
and flavour, some having the shape of the beech- 
nut and others of the mast of the oak and the holm- 
oak, and there are also differences within each of 
these varieties. Moreover some grow wild in forests 
and others are more tame, occupying cultivated 

397 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

optinent. iam in montuosis planisque distant, sicut 
et sexu mares ac feminae, item sapore : dulcissima 
omniimi fagi, ut qua obsessos etiam homines durasse 

17 in oppido Chio tradat Cornelius Alexander. genera 
distinguere non datur nominibus, quae sunt aUa aUbi, 
quippe cum robur quercumque vulgo nasci videamus, 
aesculum non ubique, quartam vero generis eiusdem 
quae cerrus vocatur ne ItaUae quidem maiore ex 
parte notam esse. distinguemus ergo proprietate 
naturaque et, ubi res coget, etiam Graecis nominibus. 

18 VII. Fagi glans nucleis simiHs triangula cute 
includitur. foUum tenue atque e levissimis, populeo 
simile, celerrime flavescens et mediaparte plerumque 
gignens superne parvolam bacam viridem cacumine 
aculeatam. fagum muribus gratissimum est, et ideo 
animaUs eius una proventus ; gUres quoque saginat, 
expedit et turdis. arborum fertiUtas omnium fere 
altemat, sed maxime fagi. 

19 VIII. Glandem quae proprie inteUegitur ferunt 
robur, quercus, aesculus, cerrus, ilex, suber. continent 
hispido calyce per genera plus minusve conplectente. 
foUa praeter iUcem gravia, carnosa, procera, sinuosa 

398 



BOOK XVI. VI. 16-V111. 19 

ground. Then they are different in mountain 
regions and in the plains, as also they differ in sex 
— male and female, and Ukewise in flavour : the 
sweetest of them all is beech-mast, it being re- 
corded by Cornehus Alexander that the people 
in the town of Chios actually held out against a siege 
by using it for food. It is not possible to distinguish 
its kinds by their names, which are different in 
different places, inasmuch as we see the hard-oak 
and the common oak growing everywhere, but the 
winter oak not in every region, and the fourth 
species of the same class, called the Turkey oak, is 
not known at all even to the greater part of Italy. 
We will therefore distinguish the varieties by their 
properties and natures, also using the Greek names 
when necessary. 

\TI. The acorn of the beech resembles a kernel, Beech-mast. 
being enclosed in a triangular shell. The leaf, 
which is thin and one of the Hghtest that there are, 
resembles that of the poplar ; it turns yellow very 
quickly, and on its upper side, usually at the middle, 
it grows a Uttle green berry with a pointed end. Mice 
are extremely fond of the beech and consequently 
in places where it grows these animals abound ; it 
also fattens dormice, and is good for thrushes, too, 
Almost all trees grow a good crop only every other 
year, but this is especially the case with the beech. 

Vni. The trees that bear acorns in the proper sense varieties 0/ 
of the term are the hard-oak, the common oak, the "''^* 
winter oak, the Turkey oak, the holm-oak and the 
cork tree. These trees carry their acorn enclosed in 
a bristly cup that embraces more or less of it accord- 
ing to their kinds. Their leaves with the exception 
of the hohn-oak are heavy, fleshy and tapering, 

399 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

lateribus, nec cum cadunt flavescentia ut fagi, pro 
differentia generum breviora vel longiora. 

Ilicis duo genera. ex his in Italia folio non ita 
multum ab oleis distant milaces a quibusdam Graecis 
dictae; in provinciis aquifoliae sunt ilices. glans 
utriusque brevior et gracilior, quam Homerus aculon 
appellat eoque nomine a glande distinguit. mascu- 
las ilices negant ferre. 

20 Glans optima in quercu atque grandissima, mox 
aesculo, nam robori parva, cerro tristis, horrida 
echinato calyce ceu castaneae. sed et in quema 
aha dulcior molliorque feminae, mari spissior. 
maxime autem probantur latifoliae ex argumento 
dictae : distant inter se magnitudine et cutis tenui- 
tate, item quod aliis subest tunica robigine scabra, 

21 aliis protinus candidum corpus. probatur et ea cuius 
in balano utrimque ex longitudine extrema lapidescit 
duritia, melior cui in cortice quam cui in corpore, 
utnmique non nisi mari. praeterea aliis ovata, aliis 
rotunda, aliis acutior figura, sicut et colos nigrior 
candidiorve, qui praefertur. amaritudo in extremi- 
400 



BOOK XVI. VIII. 19-21 

with wavy edges, and they do not turn yellow 
when they fall Hke beech leaves ; they differ in 
lcngth according to the variety of their kinds. 

There are two classes of holm-oak. The ItaUan 
variety, called by some Greeks milax, has a leaf not 
very different from that of the ohve, but the holm- 
oak in the provinces is the one with pointed leaves. 
The acorn of both kinds is shorter and more slen- 
dcr than that of other varieties ; Homer calls it Od. xi. 212. 
akylon and distingiiishes it by that name from the 
common acorn. It is said that the male holm-oak 
bears no acorns. 

The best and largest acorn grows on the common 
oak, and the next best on the ^Wnter oak, as that of 
the hard-oak is small, and that of the Turkey oak 
a rough, bristly thing with a prickly cup hke that 
of the chestnut. But also in the case of the oak 
in gcneral the acorn of the female tree is sweeter 
and softer, while that of the male tree is more 
compact. In the most esteemed variety called de- 
scriptively the broad-leaved oak, the acoms differ 
among themseh^es in size and in the thinness of 
their shell, and also in that some have under the 
shell a rough coat of a rusty colour, whereas in 
others one comes to the white flesh at once. Those 
acorns are also esteemed the kernel of which at 
each extremity taken lengthwise has a stony hard- 
ness, those having this in the husk being better than 
those with it in the flesh of the nut, but in either 
case it only occurs with a male tree. Moreover 
in some cases the acorn is oval, in others round, and 
in others of a more pointed shape, just as the colour 
also is blacker or hghtcr, the latter being preferred. 
The ends of acorns are bitter and the middle parts 

401 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

tatibus, mediae dulces; quin et pediculi brevitas 
proceritasque differentiam habet. 

22 In ipsis vero arboribus quae maximam fert hemeris 
vocatur, brevior et in orbem comosa alasque ramorum 
crebro cavata. fortius Hgnum quercus habet et 
incorruptius, ramosa et ipsa, procerior tamen et 
crassior caudice ; excelsissima autem aegilops, in- 
cultis amica. 

23 Ab hac proxima latifoliae proceritas, sed minus 
utihs aedificiis atque carboni, dolata vitiis obnoxia 
est, quamobrem sohda utuntur. carbo in aerari- 
orum tantum officinis conpendio, quoniam desinente 
flatu protinus emoriens saepius recoquitur, ceterum 
plurimus scintillis. idem e novelUs meUor. acervi 
consertis taleis recentibus luto caminantur, accensa 
strue contis pungitur durescens calyx atque ita 
sudorem emittit. 

24 Pessima et carboni et materiae haUphloeos dicta, 
cui crassissimus cortex atque caudex et plerumque 
cavus fungosusque ; nec aUa ita ^ putrescit ex hoc 
genere, etiam cum vivit. quin et fulmine saepissime 
icitur,2 quamvis aUitudine non exceUat ; ideo Ugno 
eius nec ad sacrificia uti fas habetur. eidem rara 
glans et, cum tulit, amara, quam praeter sues nuUum 

^ pariter vel ita add. ? ex Thcophrasto Mayhoff. 
^ Edd. : iacitur. 

*» The identification of this variety is uncertaLn. 

* Or perhaps ' and which makes a dense canopy of spreading 
branches,' i.e., spreads out its branches evenly like the ribs of 
an umbrella. 

' A variety ol" oak with edible acorns. 

402 



BOOK XVI. VIII. 21 24 

sweet; also there is a difference in the shortness or 
length of the stalk. 

In respect of the trees themselves the one that Varietiesn/ 
bears the largest acorn is called the hemeris;" this ifk-^ti^li. 
is a comparativcly low-growing oak which forms a 
circle of bushy fohage and which is frequently hollow 
at the spread of the branches.'' The wood of 
the common oak is stronger and less Uable to decay ; 
this variety also has many branches, but grows liigher 
and has a thicker trunk ; but the loftiest kind is the 
aegilops/ which Hkes wild uncultivated country. 

Next to this in height is the broad-leaved oak, but 
it is less useful for builders' timber and for charcoal, 
and when hewn with the axe is Hable to spht, on 
which account it is used in the unhewn state. As 
charcoal it only pays to use it in a copper-smith's 
workshop, becaase as soon as the bellows stop it dies 
down and has to be rekindled repeatedly ; but it 
gives out a great quantity of sparks. A better 
charcoal is obtained from young trees. Piles of 
freshly cut sticks are fitted closely together and made 
into an oven with clay, and the structure is set fire 
to, and the shell as it hardens is prodded with poles 
and so discharges its moisture. 

The worst kind both for charcoal and for timber is 
the one called in Greek the ' sea-cork ' oak, which 
has a very thick bark and trunk, the latter usually 
hollow and spongy ; and no other variety of the oak 
class is so Hable to rot, even while it is aHve. More- 
over it is very frequently struck by Hghtning, 
although it is not particularly lofty ; consequently 
it is not thought right to u.se its wood for sacrifices 
either. Also it rarely bears acorns, and when it does 
they are bitter, so that no animal will touch them 

403 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

attingat animal, ac ne hae quidem si aliud pabulum 
habeant. hoc quoque inter reliqua neglectae reli- 
gionis est quod emortuo carbone sacrificatur. 

25 Glans fagea suem hilarem facit, carnem cocibilem 
ac levem et utilem stomacho, iligna suem angustara, 
non ^ nitidam, strigosam ; ponderosam querna, 
diffusam, grandissima ^ et ipsa glandium atque 
dulcissima. proximam huic cerream tradit Nigidius, 
nec ex alia solidiorem carnem, sed duram. iligna 
temptari sues, nisi paulatim detur ; hanc novissimam 
cadere. fungosam carnem fieri aesculo, robore, 
subere. 

26 IX. Quae glandem ferunt omnes et gallam altern- 
isque annis glandem, sed gallam hemeris optimam et 
coriis perficiendis aptissimam ; similem huic latifolia, 
sed leviorem multoque minus probatam. fert et 
nigram — duo enim genera sunt; haec tinguendis 

27 lanis utilior. nascitur autem galla sole de geminis 
exeunte erumpens noctu semper universa. crescit 
uno die candidior et, si aestu excepta est, arescit pro- 
tinus neque ad iustum incrementum pervenit, hoc 
est ut nucleum fabae magnitudine habeat. nigra 

^ non add. Rackham : innitidam ? Warmington. 
2 Mueller : gravissima. 



" The MSS. omit this negative. 
* Towards the end of June. 



404 



BOOK XVI. VIII. 24-ix. 27 

except swine, and not even these if they can get 
any other fodder. An additional reason among others 
for its being disregarded for religious ccremonies is 
that its charcoal goes out during the course of a 
sacrifice. 

Beech-mast fed to pigs livens them up, and makes Acomsand 
their flesh easy to cook and light and digestible ; J^JJ^" 
whereas the acorns of the hohii-oak make a pig thin, 
not " glossy, meagre. Acorns from the common 
oak make it lieavy and hmipish, being themselves 
also the largest of nuts and the sweetest in flavour. 
According to Nigidius's account the next best to 
the common acorn is the acorn of the Turkey oak, 
and no other kind gives the pig more soh*d flesh, 
though hard. He says that holm-oak acorn is a 
trying feed for pigs, unless given to them in small 
quantities at a time ; and that this is the latest acorn 
to falh He adds that the acorn of the winter oak, 
hard-oak and cork-tree make a pig's flesh spongy. 

IX. AU the acorn-bearing trees produce oak-apples Oak gaiis. 
as well, and acorns in alternate years, but the 
hemeris bears the best oak-apple and the one most 
suitable for dressing hides. The oak-apple of the 
broad-leaved oak resembles it, but is lighter in 
weight and much less highly approved. This tree 
also produces the black oak-apple — for there are 
two varieties, this last being more useful for dyeing 
wool. The oak-apple begins to grow when the 
sun is leaving the sign of the Twins,* and always 
bursts forth full-size in a night. The Hghter- 
coloured variety grows in a single day, and if it en- 
counters a spell of heat it dries up at once and does 
not attain its proper growth, that is, to have a kernel 
the size of a bean. The black oak-apple stays fresh 

405 



PLINYi NATURAL HISTORY 

diutius viret crescitque, ut interdum mali conpleat 
magnitudinem. optima Commagena, deterrima ex 
robore ; signum eius quod cavernae tralucent. 

28 X. Robur praeter fructum plurima et alia gignit. 
namque fert et gallae utrumque genus et quaedam 
veluti mora, ni distarent arida duritie, plerumque et ^ 
tauri caput imitantia, quibus fructus inest nucleis 
olivae similis. nascuntur in eo et pilulae nucibus non 
absimiles, intus habentes floccos molles lucernarum 
luminibus aptos ; nam et sine oleo flagrant sicuti 
galla nigra. fert et aliam inutilem piiulam cum 

29 capillo, verno tamen tempore melliginis suci. gignunt 
et alae ramorum eius pilulas corpore non pediculo 
adhaerentes, candicantibus umbilicis, cetera nigra 
varietate dispersa; media cocci colorem habent, 
apertis amara ^ inanitas est. aliquando et pumices 
gignit nec non et e foliis convolutas pilulas et in 
foliorum venis aquosos nucleos candicantes ac tralu- 
cidos quamdiu molles sint, in quibus et culices 
nascuntur. maturescunt in <(nodum ad parvae levis 
gallae)> ^ modum. 

30 XI. P'erunt robora et cachrym : ita vocatur pilula 
in medicina urendi vim habens. gignitur et in 
abiete, larice, picea, tilia, nuce, platano, postquam 

1 et add. Mayhoff. 

^ atra Pintianus. 

^ Add. lan coll. Theophr. 

" Perhaps this should be altered to ' black,' to agree with 
Theophrastus. 

406 



BOOK XVI. IX. 27-xi. 30 

and goes on growing for a longer period, so as some- 
times to reach the size of an apple. The best kind 
comes from Commagene, and tlie worst is that pro- 
duced by the hard-oak ; it can be detected by the 
transparent hollows in it. 

X. The hard-oak suppHes a number of other pro- 
ducts in addition to acorns ; it also bears both kinds 
of oak-apples, and berries that are hke mulberries 
except that they are dry and hard, also usually 
resembhng a bulFs head, which contain a fruit 
Hke the stone of an ohve. There also grow on it 
Httle baHs not unHke nuts, having inside them soft 
flocks of wool suitable for lamp-wicks, since they wiU 
keep burning even without oil, as is also the case 
with the black oak-apples. The hard-oak also 
bears another sort of Httle baH with hairs on it, which 
is of no use, though in spring-time it has a juice that 
is Hke bee-glue. Also in the hoHows at the junction 
of its boughs grow Httle baHs adhering bodily to the 
bark and not attached by a stalk, the point of attach- 
ment being white but the remainder speckled with 
black patches ; inside they have a scarlet colour, 
but when opened they are bitter <* and empty. 
Sometimes also the hard-oak bears growths resembHng 
pumice-stone, as weH as Httle baHs made of the 
leaves roHed up, and also on the veins of the leaves 
watery pustules of a white colour, and as long as they 
remain soft permeable to Hght, in which gnats are 
born. When they ripen they form a knot Hke the 
smaH smooth oak-apple. 

XI. Hard-oaks also bear catkins : that is the 
name of a smaH round baH used in medicine for its 
caustic property. It also grows on the fir, the larch, 
the pitch-pine, the Hme, nut-trees and the plane, 

407 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

folia cecidere hieme durans. continet nucleum pineis 
similem ; is crescit hieme, aperitur vere. pilula tota 

31 cadit cum folia coepere crescere. tam multifera sunt, 
tot res praeter glandem pariunt robora, sed et 
boletos suillosque, gulae novissima inritamenta, qui 
circa radices gignuntur, quercus probatissimos, robur 
autem et cupressus et pinus noxios. robora ferunt 
et viscum, et mella ut auctor est Hesiodus, constatque 
rores melleos e caelo, ut diximus, cadentes non aliis 
magis insidere frondibus ; crematoque ^ robore 
cinerem nitrosum esse certimi est. 

32 XII. Omnes tamen has eius dotes ilex solo provocat 
cocco. granum hic primoque ceu scabies fruticis, 
parvae aquifoliae ilicis : scolecium ^ vocant. pen- 
sionem alteram tributi pauperibus Hispaniae donat. 
usum eius grani et rationem ^ in conchyh mentione 
tradidimus. gignitur et in Galatia, Africa, Pisidia, 
Cilicia, pessimum in Sardinia. 

33 XIII. Galliarum glandiferae maxime arbores agari- 
cum ferunt; est autem fungus candidus, odoratus, 
antidotis efficax, in summis arboribus nascens, nocte 
relucens : signum hoc eius quo in tenebris decerpitur. 

^ Mayhoff : quoque. 

^ Detlefsen coll. xxiv 8 : cusculium aut cuscolium. 

' Mayhoff : eius grationem aut eius generationem. 

" This is really juice exuded from *green-fly ' on the leaves. 
^ Pliny here describes the scarlet-producing kermes-maect 
which infests the small Quercus coccifera. 
* A species of non-edible Fomea. 

408 



BOOK XVI. XI. 3o-.\iii. s^ 

lasting on in thc winter after tlie leaves have fallen. 
It contains a kernel resembUng the kernel of pine- 
cones ; tliis grows in winter and opens out in spring. 
When the leaves have begun to grow, the whole 
ball falls off. Such is the multiphcity of products in 
addition to the acorn that are borne by hard-oaks ; 
but they also produce edible fungi and hog-mush- 
rooms, the most recently discovered stimulants of 
tlie appetite, which grow round their roots ; those 
of the common oak are the most esteemed, but 
those of the hard-oak and cypress and pine are 
harmful. Hard-oaks also produce mistletoe, and 
honey as well according to Hesiod, and it is an ac- w.d. 2Z2. 
cepted fact that honey-dew faUing from the sky," as 
we said, deposits itself on the leaves of no other tree ^i- ^o. 
in preference to the hard-oak ; and it is well known 
that hard-oak wood when burnt produces a nitrous asii. 

XII. Nevertheless the holm-oak challenges all these ^^ kermes- 
products of the hard-oak on the score of its scarlet 

alone. This is a grain, and looks at first hke a rough- 
ness on a shrub, which is the small pointed-leaf holm- 
oak. The grain is called scolecium, ' htte worm '.^ It 
furnishes the poor in Spain with the means of paying 
one out of every two instalments of their tribute. 
We have stated the use of this grain and the mode ix. I40f. 
of preparing it when speaking of pui^ple dye. It 
occurs also in Galatia, Africa, Pisidia and Cihcia, and 
the worst kind in Sardinia. 

XIII. In the GalHc provinces chiefly the acorn- ^""^«^ <>" 
bearing trees produce agaric,*^ which is a white fungus 

with a strong odour, and which makes a powerful anti- 
dote ; it grows on the tops of trees, and is phosphor- 
escent at night ; this is its distinguishing mark, by 
which it can be gathered in the dark. Of the 

voL. IV. o 409 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

e glandiferis sola quae vocatur aegilops fert pannos 
arentes, muscoso villo canos, non in cortice modo 
verum et e ramis dependentes cubitali magnitudine, 
odoratos, uti diximus inter unguenta. 

34 Suberi minima arbor, glans pessima et rara, cortex 
tantum in fructu, praecrassus ac renascens atque 
etiam in denos pedes undique explanatus : usus eius 
ancoralibus maxime navium piscantiumque tragulis 
et cadorum obturamentis, praeterea in hiberno 
feminarum calceatu. quamobrem non infacete Graeci 
corticis arborem appellant. sunt et qui feminam 
ilicem vocent atque, ubi non nascitur ilex, pro ea 
subere utantur in carpentariis praecipue fabricis, ut 
circa Elim et Lacedaemonem. nec in Italia tota 
nascitur aut in Gallia omnino. 

35 XIV. Cortexetfagi,tiliae,abietis,^piceae,inmagno 
usu agrestium. vasa eo corbesque ac patentiora 
quaedam messibus convehendis vindemiisque faciunt 
atque proiecta ^ tuguriorum. scribit in recenti ad 
duces explorator incidens Utteras "f a sucof ; ^ nec 
non et in quodam usu sacrorum rehgiosus est fagi 
cortex, sed non durat arbor ipsa. 

' Sic Warmington : fagis, tiliae, abieti. 

2 Hardouin : protecta. 

^ incisas literas tegente suco Dalec. 

" Some kind of lichen is referred to. 

* The reference is to cork floats used either to carry the end 
of a mooring-cable left attached to an anchor or a stone on the 
bottom of a harbour or roadstead, or to carry the top edge of 
a fishing-net held taut by weights along its bottom edge. 

' The Greek name for the Quercus Suber was ^eAAds', a word 
aiso used for the cork floats on a net ; for bark they used ^Aoid?. 

** The words a suco have evaded plausible explanation or 
emendatinn. Tho general sense is that a message was scratched 
on a strip of bark freshly peeled ofl" a tree, and that owing to 

410 



BOOK XVI. XIII. 33-xiv. 35 

acorn-bearing tree the one called the aegilops alone 
carries strips of dry cloth <* covered with white mossy 
tufts; this substance not only grows on the bark 
but hangs down from the branches in streamers 
eighteen inches long, and it has a strong scent, as we xii.iog. 
said when deaUng with perfumes. 

The cork is a very small tree, and its acorns are Cork-tree. 
very bad in quaUty and few in number ; its only 
useful product is its bark, which is extremely thick 
and which when cut grows again ; when flattened 
out it has been known to form a sheet as big as 10 feet 
square. This bark is used chiefly for ships' anchor 
drag-ropes and fishermen's ^ drag-nets and for the 
bungs of casks, and also to make soles for women's 
winter shoes. Consequently the Greek name for 
the tree is ' bark-tree,' which is not inappropriate.'^ 
Some people also call it the female holm-oak, and in 
places where the holm-oak does not grow, for instance 
in the districts of Ehs and Sparta, use cork-tree 
timber instead of holm-oak, especially for wain- 
wright's carpentry. It does not grow all over Italy 
or anywhere in Gaul. 

XIV. Also in the case of the beech, the hme, the Barkofother 
fir and the pitch-pine the bark is extensively used by 
country people. They employ it for making panniers 
and baskets, and larger flat receptacles used for 
carrying corn at harvest-time and grapes at the vint- 
age, and the roof-eaves of cottages. A scout wites 
reports to send to his officers by cutting letters on 
fresh bark from the sap ; <^ and also beech bark is 
used for ritual purposes in certain rehgious rites, 
but the tree from which it is stripped does not survive. 

the sap the incifions closcd iip, but opened again later on 
when the sap dried, so that the writing became legible. 

411 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

36 XV. Scandula e robore aptissima, mox e glandi- 
fcris aliis fagoquc, facillima ex omnibus quae resinam 
ferunt, sed minime durans praeterquam e pino. 
scandula contectam fuisse Romam ad Pyrrhi usque 
bellum annis cccclxx CorneliiLS Ncpos auctor est. 

37 silvarum certe distinguebatur insignibu-;, Fagutali 
love etiam nunc ubi lucus fageus fuit, Porta Quer- 
quetulana, Colle Viminali ^ in quem vimina pete- 
bantur, totque Lucis, quibusdam et geminis. Q. 
Hortensius dictator, ciun plebes secessisset in lani- 
culum, legem in Aesculeto tulit ut quod ea iussisset 
omnes Quirites teneret. 

38 XVI. Peregrinae tum videbantur, quoniam non 
erant suburbanae, pinus atque abies omnesque quae 
picem gignunt. de quibus nunc dicemus, simul ut 
tota condiendi vina origo cognoscatur, quae ferunt in 
Asia aut oriente praedictis. 

Picem in Europa sex genera cognatarum arb6rum 
ferunt. ex his pinus atque pinaster folium habent 
capillamenti modo praetenue longumque at mucrone 
aculeatiun. pinus fert minimum resinae, interdum et 
nueibus ipsis de quibus dictum est, vixque ut adscri- 

1 Viminali add. Rackham. 



" The war with Pyrrhus began a.u.c. 473, 2S1 b.c. 

* On the Esquihne Hill were the Lucus i\[efitis, Lucus 
lunonis Lucinae, Lucus Fagutalis, Lucus Laruni and Qiierque- 
tulanum Sacellum. 

412 



BOOK XVI. XV. 36-xvi. 38 

XV. The most suitable roof-.shin«rle.s are got from Roof- 
the hard-oak, and the next best from the other acorn- *'*"* 
bearing trees and from the beech ; those most easily 
obtained are cut from all the trees that produce 
resin, but these are the least good to last with the 
exception of those from the pine. Cornehus Nepos 
informs us that Rome was roofed with shingles right 
down to the war with Pyrrhus, a period of 470 years." 

At all events its different regions used to be denoted Trees in 
by designations taken from the woods ^ — the Pre- 1/'^^^'^'^^ 
cinct of Jupiter of the Beech Tree (which retains the 
name even to-day) — where there was once a grove of 
beeches, Oak-forest Gate, Osier Hill, where people 
went to get osiers, and all the Groves, some even 
named from two sorts of trees. It was in Winter-oak 
Grove that Quintus Hortensius as dictator after the 2S7 b.c. 
secession of the plebeians to the Janiculum Hill 
carried the law that an order of the plebs shoukl 
be binding on all citizens. 

XVI. The pine and the fir and all the trees that Treesyieid- 
produce pitch were in those days considered exotics, *"^^' 
because there were none in the neighbourhood of the 
capital. Of these trees we shall now speak, in order 

that the whole of the source from which flavouring 
for wine is produced may bc known at once, after 
an account has been given of the trees in Asia or the 
East which produce pitch. 

In Europe pitch is produced by six kinds of trees, 
all related to one another. Of these the pine and the 
\^11d pine have a very narrow long leaf like hair, with 
a shai*p point at the end. The pine yields the smallest 
amount of resin, sometimes also produced from its 
nuts themselves, about which we have spoken, and xv. 36. 
scarcely enough to justify its classification as a resinous 

413 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

39 batur generi. XVII. pinastcr nihil est aliud quam 
pinus silvestris minor altitudine et a medio ramosa 
sicut pinus in vertice. copiosiorem dat haec resinam 
quo dicemus modo. gignitur et in planis. easdem 
arbores alio nomine esse per oram Itahae quas 
tibulos vocant plerique arbitrantur, sed graciles 
succinctioresque et enodes liburnicarum ad usus, 
paene sine resina. 

40 XVIII. Picea montis amat atque frigora, feralis 
arbor et funebri indicio ad fores posita ac rogis virens, 
iam tamen et in domos recepta tonsili facilitate. haec 
plurimam fundit interveniente candida gemma tam 
simiH turis ut mixta visu discerni non queat; unde 

41 fraus Seplasiae. omnibus his generibus foha brevia 
sed crassiora duraque ceu cupressis. piceae rami 
paene statim ab radice modici velut bracchia lateribus 
inhaerent. 

Similiter abieti expetitae navigiis situs in excelso 

42 montium, ceu maria fugerit, nec forma aha. ma- 
teries vero praecipua est trabibus et plurimis vitae 
operibus. resina in ea ^ vitium, unde fructus piceae, 

^ MayJioff : resinae. 

<* A street in Capua occupied entirely by perfumera' shops. 
414 



BOOK XVI. XVI. 38-xviii. 42 

tree. XMI. Tlie piiiasler is iiothing else l)ut a wild ^''(^me. 
piiie tree of smaller height throwiiig out branches 
from the middle as the pine does at thc top, This 
variety gives a larger quantity of resin, in the manner 
wliich we shall describe. It grovvs in flat countries §5 57f. 
also. Most people think that trees called tibuH 
that grow along the coasts of Italy are the same tree 
with another name, but the tibulus is a slender tree 
and more compact than the pinaster, and being free 
from knots is used for building hght galhes ; it is 
almost devoid of resin. 

XVII I. The pitch-pine loves mountains and cokl Pitch-pine» 
locahties. It is a funereal tree, and is placed at the '^" 
doors of houses as a token of bereavement and grown 
on graves ; nevertheless nowadays it has also been 
admitted into our homes because of the ease with 
which it can be chpped into various shapes. This 
pine gives out a quantity of resin interspersed with 
white drops so closely resembhng frankincense that 
when mixed with it they are indistinguishable to the 
eye ; hence the adulteration is practised in the 
Seplasia.'* AU these classes of trees have short 
leaves, but rather thick and hard hke the leaf of the 
cypress. The branches of the pitch-pine are of 
moderate size and grow out almost immediately 
ffom the root of the tree, attached to its sides hke 
arms. 

Similarly the fir, which is in great demand for build- 
ing sliips, grows high up on mountains, as though 
it had run away from the sea; and its shape is the 
same as that of the pitch-pine. But it supphes 
excellent timber for beams and a great many of the 
apphances of hfe. Resin, which gives its value to the 
pitch-pine, is a defect in the fir, which occasionally 

415 



PLINY: NATURAI. HISTORY 

exiguumque sudat aliquando contaetu solis. e 
diverso materies, quae abieti pulcherrima, piceae ad 
fissiles scandulas cupasque et pauca alia secamenta. 

43 XIX. Quinto generi est situs idem, facies eadem ; 
larix vocatur. materiespraestantiorlonge,incorrupta 
aevis,^ umori contumax, rubens praeterea et odore 
acrior. plusculum huic erumpit hquoris melleo 
colore atque lentore,^ numquam durescentis. 

44 Sextum genus est taeda proprie dicta, abundantior 
suco quam rehqua, parcior hquidiorque quam picea, 
flammis ac lumini sacrorum etiam grata. hae, mares 
dumtaxat, ferunt et eam quam Graeci sycen vocant, 
odoris gravissimi. laricis morbus est ut taeda fiat. 

45 Omnia autem haec genera accensa fuhgine inmo- 
dica carbonem repente expuunt cum eruptionis 
crepitu eiaculantm'que longe excepta larice quae nec 
ardet nec carbonem facit nec alio modo ignis vi con- 
sumitur quam lapides. omnia ea pei*petuo virent 
nec facile discemuntur in fronde etiam a peritis, 

46 tanta natalium mixtura est ; sed picea minus alta 
quam Iarix,illa crassior leviorque cortice, foho villo- 
sior, pinguior et densior mollius flexo ; at piceae rariora 

1 Mayhoff : incorrupta ac vis. 

2 Sillig : lentiora aut recentiora. 



" Pinus combra. 

"^ ^vK€a, avKTj, ' fig-tree,' also ' fig,' is used to denote tar 
or resin by Theophrastus. 

" Except the larch, which is deciduous. 

416 



BOOK XVI. xviii. 42 Aix. 46 

exudes a small quantity when exposed to the action 
of the sun. The wood, on the contrary, which in the 
case of the fir is extremely beautiful, in the pitch- 
pine only serves for making spUt roof-shingles and 
tubs and a few other articles of joinery. 

XIX. The fifth kind of resinous tree has the same Larch. 
habitat and the same appearance ; it is called the 
larch. Its timber is far superior, not rotting with age 
and offering a stubborn resistance to damp ; also 
it has a reddish colour and a rather penetrating 
scent. llesin flows from this tree in rather large 
quantities, of the colour and stickiness of honey, 
and never becoming hard. 

The sixthkind is the torch-pine" specially so called, Torch-pine. 
which gives out more resin than the rest, but less, 
and of a more hquid kind, than the pitch-pine ; and 
it is agreeable for kindhng fires and also for torch- 
Hght at rehgious ceremonies. These trees, at all 
events the male variety, also produce the extremely 
strong-smelhng hquid called by the Greeks syce.^ 
It is a disease of the larch to turn into a torch-pine. rroperties of 

All these kinds of trees when set fire to make an ^trels!^ 
enormous quantity of sooty smoke and suddenly 
with an explosive crackle send out a splutter of 
charcoal and shoot it to a considerable distance — 
excepting the larch, which does not burn nor yet 
make charcoal, nor waste away from the action 
of fire any more than do stones. All these trees ^ are 
evergreen, and are not easily distinguishable in 
point of fohage even by experts, so closely are they 
interrelated ; but the pitch-pine is not so tall as the 
larch, which has a thicker and smoother bark and 
more velvety and oiUer and thicker foUage, the leaf 
bending more softly to the touch, whereas the fohage 

417 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

siccioiaque folia et tenuiora ac magis algentia, tota- 
que horridior et perfusa resina, lignimi abietis 
similius. larix ustis radicibus non repullulat, <(picea 
repullulat),^ ut in Lesbo accidit incenso nemore 

47 Pyrrhaeo. aUa etiamnunc generibus ipsis in sexu 
differentia ; mas brevior et durior <]foUis]>2, fernina 
procerior, pinguioribus foUis et simpUcibus atque non 
rigentibus ; Ugnum maribus durum et in fabriU 
opere contortum, feminae moUius, pubUco dis- 
crimine in securibus : hae in quocumque genere 
deprehendunt marem, quippe respuuntur et fragosius 
sidunt, aegrius reveUuntur. ipsa materies retorrida 

48 et nigrior maribus. laricis circa Idam in Troade et 
aUa differentia, montanae maritimaeque. nam in 
Macedonia et Arcadia circaque EUm permutant 
nomina, nec constat auctoribus quod cuique generi 
adtribuant ; nos ista Romano discernimus iudicio. 

Abies e cunctis ampUssima est et femina etiam 
proUxior, materie moUior utiliorque, arbore rotundior, 
foUo pinnato densa ut imbres non tramittat, atque 

49 hilarior in totum. e ramis generum horum pani- 



^ Hermolaus e Theophr. 
2 Edd. e Theophr. 



4l8 



BOOK XVI. XIX. 46-49 

of the pitch-pine is scantier a-nd also drier and thinner 
and ot a colder nature, and the whole tree is rougher 
and is covered with resin ; the wood more resembles 
that of the fir. When the roots of a larch have been 
burnt it does not throw out fresh shoots, but the 
pitch-pine does, as happened on the island of Lesbos 
after the grove of the town of Pyrrha had been 
burnt. Moreover there is another difterence within 
these species themselves in the matter of sex : the 
male tree is shorter and has harder leaves, while the 
female is taller and its leaves are more unctuous and 
not forked and not stiff ; and the wood of the male 
is hard, and when used in carpentry spUts crooked, 
while that of the female is softer, the manifestation 
of the difference resting with the axe, which in every 
variety detects the male, because it meets with re- 
sistance and falls with a louder crash and is pulled 
out of the wood with greater difficulty. With the 
male trees the wood itself is parched and blacker in 
colour. In the neighbourhood of Mount Ida in the 
Troad there is also another variation among the 
larches, the mountain larch and the coast larch being 
different. As for Macedonia and Arcadia and the 
neighbourhood of EHs, in these places the varieties 
exehange names and the authorities are not agreed 
as to which name to give to each species, though for 
our part we settle that sort of question by the 
verdict of Rome. 

The biggest of the entire group is the fir, the female Tiiefir. 
being even taller than the male, and its timber softer 
and more easily worked, and the tree rounder in 
shape, and with dense feathery foHage, which makes 
it impervious to rain ; and in general it has a more 
cheerful appearance. From the branches of these 

419 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

cularum modo nucamenta squamatim compacta de- 
pendent praeterquam larici. haec abietis masculae 
primori parte nucleos habent, non item feminae ; 
piceae vero totis paniculis, minoribus graciUori- 
busque, minimos ac nigros, propter quod Graeci 
phthirophoron ^ eam appellant. in eadem nucamenta 
maribus conpressiora sunt ac minus resina roscida. 

50 XX. SimiUs his etiamnunc aspectu est, ne quid 
praetereatur, taxus minime virens graciUsque et tristis 
ac dira, nuUo suco, ex omnibus sola bacifera. mas 
noxio fructu, letale quippe bacis in Hispania praeci- 
pue venenum inest : vasa etiam viatoria ex ea vinis 

51 in GaUia facta mortifera fuisse conpertimi est. hanc 
Sextius milacem a Graecis vocari dicit, et esse in 
Arcadia tam praesentis veneni ut qui obdormiant sub 
ea cibumve capiant moriantur. sunt qui et taxica 
hinc appeUata dicant venena quae nunc toxica dici- 
mus, quibus sagittae tinguantur. reperio ^ innoxiam 
fieri si in ipsam arborem clavus aereus adigatur. 

52 XXI. Pix Uquida in Europa e taeda coquitur, navaU- 
bus muniendis muUosque aUos ad usus. Ugnum eius 
concisum furnis undique igni extra circumdato fervet. 
primus sudor aquae modo fluit canaU ; hoc in Syria 
cedrium vocatur, cui tanta vis est ut in Aegypto 

^ Benedictus (phthiropoeon MayhofJ) : phthiroporon. 
^ reperio ? MayhoJJ : reperto. 

" Taxica from taxus, a yew; toxica from to^ov, a bow. 
420 



BOOK XVI. XIX. 49 XXI. 52 

specics, with the exccption of the larch, there hang 
nut-like growths resembhng catkins, packed togethcr 
Hke scalcs. Thosc of the male fir have kerncls in 
their tips, thousch this is not the case with the female 
fir ; but the nuts of the pitch-pine have kcrncls filhng 
thc whole of the catkins, which are smaller and 
narro^vcr, the kernels being vcry small and black, 
owing to which the Greek name for the pitch-pine 
is a word meaning * louse-tree.' Also in the pitch- 
pine the nut-growths are more closely packed in the 
male trees and less moist with resin. 

XX. Morcover, not to pass over any variety, re- Theyew 
sembUng these trees in appearance is the yew, hardly 
green at all in colour and slender in form, with a 
gloomy, terrifying appearance ; it has no sap, and is 

the only tree of all the class that bears berries. The 
friiit of the male yew is harmful — in fact its berries, 
particularly in Spain, contain a deadly poison ; even 
wine-flasks for travellers made of its wood in Gaul 
are known to have caused death. Sextius says that 
the Greek name for this tree is milax, and that in 
Arcadia its poison is so active that people who go to 
sleep or picnic beneath a yew-tree die. Some people 
also say that this is why poisons were called ' taxic,' 
which we now pronounce ' toxic '," meaning ' used for 
poisoning arrows.' I find it stated that a yew becomes 
harmless if a copper nail is driven into the actual tree. 

XXI. In Europe tar is obtained from the torch- 

pine by heating it, and is used for coating ships' tackle and uses oj 
and many other purposes. The wood of the tree is '«''• 
chopi^ed up and put into ovens and heated by means 
of a hre packed all round outside. The first Hquid that 
exudes flows hke water down a pipe ; in Syria this is 
callcd ' ccdar-juicc,' and it is so strong that in Egypt 

42T 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

corpora hominum defunctorum perfusa eo serventur. 

53 XXII. sequens liquor crassior iam picem fundit ; haec 
rursus in cortinas aereas coniecta aceto spissatur ut 
coagulo et Bruttiae cognomen accepit, doHis dumtaxat 
vasisque ceteris utilis, lentore ab alia pice differens, 
item colore rutilante et quod pinguior est reliqua 
omni illa. fit e picea resina ferventibus cocta ^ lapi- 
dibus in alveis validi roboris aut, si alvei non sint, 

54 struis congerie, velut in carbonis usu. haec in vinum 
additur farinae modo tusa, nigrior colore. eadem 
resina si cum aqua lenius ^ decoquatur coleturque, 
rufo colore lentescit ac stillaticia vocatur. sepo- 
nuntur autem ad id fere vitia resinae cortexque. 
alia temperies ad crapulam : namque flos crudus 
resinae cum multa astula tenui brevique avulsus con- 
ciditur ad cribrum minuta; dein ferventi aqua 

55 donec coquatur ^ perfunditur. huius expressum pin- 
gue praecipua resina fit atque rara nec nisi paucis in 
locis subalpinae Italiae, conveniens medicis : resinae 
albae congium in duobis ^ aquae pluviae cocunt ; aUi 
utilius putant sine aqua coquere lento igne toto die, 
utique vase aeris albi, item terebinthinam in sartagine 
cinere ferventi, hanc ceteris praeferentes. proxima 
ex lentisco. 

1 cocta ? MayhofJ : coacta. 

2 Mayhoff : levius. 

^ cogatur coll. § 53 lan. 

^ in II {nonne binis ?) Mayhoff. 

422 



BOOK XVI. XXI. 52-xxii. 55 

it is used for embalming the bodies of the dead. 
XXII. The hqiior that follows is thicker, and now 
produces pitch ; this in its turn is collected in copper 
cauldrons and thickened by means of vinegar, as 
making it coagulate, and it has been given the name 
of Bruttian pitch ; it is only useful for casks and 
similar receptacles, and diifers from other pitch by its 
viscosity and also by its reddish colour and because 
it is greasier than all the rest. It is made from pitch- 
resin caused to boil by means of red-hot stones in casks 
made of strong oak, or, if casks are not available, by 
pihng up a heap of billets, as in the process of making 
charcoal. It is this pitch which is used for seasoning 
wine after being beaten up into a powder hke flour, 
when it has a rather black colour. The same resin, 
if rather gently boiled with water and strained ofF, 
becomes viscous and turns a reddish colour ; this is 
caUed ' distilled pitch.' For making this the inferior 
parts of the resin and the bark of the tree are usually 
set aside. Another mixing process produced * in- 
toxication resin ' : raw flower of resin is picked ofF 
the tree with a quantity of thin, short chips of the 
wood, and broken up small in a sieve, and then 
steeped in water heated to boihng. The grease of 
this that is extracted makes the best quahty of resin, 
and it is rarely obtainable, and only in a few districts 
of Italy near the Alps. It is suitable for medical use : 
the doctors boil f of a gallon of white resin in IJ 
gallons of rain-water — though others think it pays 
better to boil it without water over a slow fire for a 
whole day, and to employ a vessel of white copper, 
or to boil resin from the turpentine-tree in a flat pan 
on hot ashes, as they prefer this to all the other kinds. 
The resin of the mastich is rated next. 

423 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

56 XXIII. Non omittendum apud eosdem zopissam 
vocari derasam navibus maritimis picem cum cera, 
nihil non experiente vita, multoque efficaciorem ad 
omnia quil)us pices resinaeque prosunt, videlicct 
adiecto salis callo. 

57 Aperitur picea e parte solari, non plaga sed volnere 
ablati corticis, cum plurimum bipedali hiatu, ut a 
terra cubito cum minimum absit. nec corpori ipsi 
parcitur ut in ceteris, quoniam astula in fructu est ; 
verum haec proxima laudatur, altior amaritudinem 
adfert. postea umor omnis e tota confluit in ulcus, 

58 item in taeda. cum id manare desiit, simiU modo 
ex alia parte aperitur ac deinde alia. postea tota 
arbor succiditur et medulla eius uritur. sic et in 
Syria terebintho detrahunt cortices, ibi quidem et e 
ramis ac radicibus, cum resina damnetur ex his 
partibus. in Macedonia laricem masculam totam ^ 

59 urunt, feminae radices tantum. Theopompus scripsit in 
Apolloniatarum agro picem fossilem non deteriorem 
Macedonica inveniri. pix optima ubique ex apricis 

' totam ndd. Rackham. 
424 



BOOK XVI. xxiii. 56 59 

XXIII. \Ve must not omit to statc that with the UseofpUrh 
Greeks also the name of ' Hve pitch ' is given to ofThips. " 
pitch which has been scraped off the bottom of sea- 
going ships and mixed with wax — as hfe leaves 
nothing untried — and which is much more efhcacious 
for all the purposes for whicli the pitches and resins 
are serviceable, this being because of the additional 
hardness of the sea salt. 

An opcning is made in a pitch-tree on the side Wai/sof 
towards the sun, not by means of an incision but by ?*"*"^p*'<^ 
a wound made by removing the bark, making an 
aperture at most two feet long, so as to be at least 
eighteen inches from the ground. Also the body 
of the tree itself is not spared, as in other cases, 
because the chips of wood are valuable ; but the 
chips from nearest the surface are most esteemcd, 
those from deeper in giving the resin a bitter flavour. 
Afterwards all the moisture from the whole tree 
flows together into the wound ; and so also in the 
case of the torch-tree. When the Hquid stops 
flowing, an opening is made in a similar manner out 
of another part of the tree and then another. After- 
wards the whole tree is felled and the pith of the 
timber is burnt. In the same way in Syria also they 
strip the bark off the turpentine-tree, there indeed 
stripping it from the branches and roots as well, 
although the resin from these parts is not valued 
highly. In Macedonia they bum the whole of the 
male larch but only the roots of the female tree. 
Theopompus wrote that in the territory of the 
Apolloniates a mineral pitch is found that is not 
inferior to that of Macedonia. The best pitch is 
everywhere obtained from trees growing in sunny 
places with a north-east aspect, whereas that from 

425 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

aqiiilonis situ, ex opacis horridior virusque praeferens, 
frigida hieme deterior ac minus copiosa et decolor. 

60 qiiidam arbitrantur in montuosis copia praestantiorem 
ac colore et dulciorem fieri, odorem quoque gratiorem, 
dum resina sit, decoctam autem minus picis reddere, 
quoniam in serum ^ abeat, tenuioresque esse ipsas 
arbores quam in planis, sed has et illas serenitate 
steriliores. fructum quaedam proxmno anno ab 
incisu largiuntur, aliae secundo, quaedam tertio. 
expletur autem plnga resina, non cortice nec cica- 
trice, quae in hac arbore non coit. 

61 Inter haec genera propriam quidam fecere sap- 
pinmn, quoniam ex cognatione harum seritur quahs 
dicta est in nucleis ; eiusdemque arboris imas partes 
taedas vocant, cum sit illa arbor nil aliud quam picea 
feritatis paulum mitigatae satu, sappinus autem 
materies caesurae genere fiat, sicuti docebimus. 

62 XXIV. Materiae enim causa rehquas arbores natura 
genuit copiosissimamque fraxinum. procera haec ac 
teres, pinnata et ipsa foUo, multumque Homeri prae- 
conio et AchilUs hasta nobiUtata. materies est ad 

^ V.L ferum. 



//. XX. 277 U-qXids . . . fieXlr}. 
426 



BOOK XVI. XXIII. 59-xxiv. 62 

shady places has a rougher appearance, and presents 
an offensive odour ; and pitch in a cold winter is 
inferior in quahty and less plentiful in quantity, 
and of a bad colour. Some people think that the 
hquid obtained in mountain regions is superior in 
quantity and colour and sweeter, and also has a 
more agreeable smell, so long as it remains in the 
state of resin, but that when boiled down it yields 
less pitch, because it goes off into a watery residue, 
and that the trees themselves are thinner than those 
in the plains, but that both the one and the other 
kinds are less productive in dry weather. Some 
trees yield a hberal supply in the year after they 
are cut, whereas others do so a year later and some 
two years later. The wound fills up with resin, 
not with bark or by a scab, as in this tree an incision 
in the bark does not join up. 

Among these classes of trees some people have 
made a special variety of the sappinus fir, because 
under the name of this group of trees is grown the 
kind which we described among the nut-bearing xv. 36. 
kinds ; and the lowest parts of the same tree are 
called pine-torches, although the tree in question is 
really only a pitch-pine with its wild character a 
httle modified by cultivation, whereas the sappinus 
is a timber produced by the mode of feUing used, as 
we shall explain. § 196. 

XXIV. For it is for the sake of their timber that Theash: 
Nature has created the rest of the trees, and the El/S 
most productive of them all, the ash. This is a'^^^"- 
lofty, shapely tree, itself also having feathery foh- 
age, and has been rendered extremely famous by 
the advertisement given it by Homer*^ as supplying 
the spear of Achilles. The wood of the ash is useful 

427 



PLINY; NATURAL HISTORY 

plurima utilis. ea quidem quae fit in Ida Troadis in 
tantum cedro similis ut ementes fallat cortice ablato. 

63 Graeci duo genera eius fecere : longam enodem, 
alteram brevem diu*iorem fuscioremque, laureis foliis. 
bumeliam vocant in Macedonia amplissimam lentissi- 
mamque. alii situ divisere, campestrem enim esse 

64 crispam, montanam spissam. folia earum iumentis 
mortifera, ceteris ruminantium innocua Graeci pro- 
didere ; in Italia nec iumentis nocent. contra 
serpentes vero suco expresso ad potum et imposita 
ulceri opifera ut ^ nihil aeque reperiuntur ; tantaque 
est vis ut ne matutinas quidem occidentesve umbras, 
cum sunt longissimae, serpens arboris eius adtingat, 
adeo ipsam procul fugiat. experti prodimus, si 
fronde ea circimicludantur ^ ignis et^ serpens, in 
ignes potius quara in fraxinum fugere serpentem. 
mira naturae benignitas prius quam hae prodeant 
florere fraxinum nec ante conditas foHa demittere. 

65 XXV. In tiha mas et femina differunt omni modo. 
namque et materies maris dura rufiorque ac nodosa et 
odoratior, cortex quoque crassior ac detractus in- 

' Mayhojf: ac. 

^ jMayh-off: circuracludatur. 

^ -datur et igni Detlefsen. 

428 



BOOK XVI. XXIV. ^^-xx-v. 65 

for a great many purposes, Tlie kind grown on 
Ida in the Troad so closely resembles cedar-wood 
that when the bark has been removed it deceives 
buyers. The Greeks have distinguished two kinds 
of ash-tree, a tall one without knots and the other 
a short tree with harder and darker wood and 
foUage hke that of the bay-tree. In Macedonia 
there is a very large ash making very flexible timber, 
which has the Greek name of * ox-ash.' Other people 
have distinguished the ash-tree by locaUty, as they 
say that the ash of the plains has a crinkly grain 
and the mountain ash is close-grained. Greek 
writers have stated that the leaves of the ash are 
poisonous to beasts of burden, though doing no harm 
to all the other kinds of ruminants ; but in Italy 
they are harmless to beasts of burden also. Indeed, 
they are found to be serviceable as an exccptionally 
effective antidote for snake-bites, if the juice is 
squeezed out to make a potion and the leaves are 
apphed to the wound as a poultice ; and they are so 
potent that a snake wiU not come in contact with the 
shadow of the tree even in the morning or at sunset 
when it is at its longest, so wide a berth does it give 
to the tree itself. We can state from actual experi- 
ment tliat if a ring of ash-leaves is put round a fire 
and a snake, the snake wiU rather escape into the 
fire than into the ash-leaves. By a marveUous pro- 
vision of Nature's kindness the ash flowers before 
the snakes conie out and does not shed its leaves 
before they have gone into hibernation. 

XXV. In the Ume-tree the male and the female Theiime. 
are entirely different. Not only is the wood of the 
male Ume hard and reddish and knotted and more 
scented, but also the bark is thicker, and when 

429 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

flexibilis ; nec semen fert aut florcm ut femina, quae 
crassior arbore, materie candida praecellensque est. 
mirum in hac arbore fructum a nullo animalium 
adtingi, foliorum corticisque sucum esse dulcem. 
inter corticem ac lignum tenues tunicae sunt ^ 
multiplici membrana, e quibus vincula tiliae vocantur 
tenuissimumque eorum ^ philyrae, coronarum lem- 
niscis celebres antiquorum honore. materies tere- 
dinem non sentit, proceritate perquam modica, 
verum utiUs. 

66 XXVI. Acer eiusdem fere ampHtudinis, operum 
elegantia ac subtiUtate citro secundum. plura eius 
genera: album, quod praecipui candoris, vocatur 
Gallicum in transpadana Italia transque Alpes 
nascens ; alterum genus crispo macularum discursu, 
qui ciun excellentior fuit, a simiUtudine caudae 
pavonum nomen accepit, in Histria Raetiaque prae- 
cipuum ; e viUore genere crassivenium vocatur. 

67 Graeci situ discernunt, campestre enim candidum 
esse nec crispum — quod gUnon vocant — montanum 
vero crispius duriusque, etiamnunc e mascula 
crispius ad lautiora opera, tertium genus zygian 
rubentem, fissiU Ugno, cortice Uvido,^ scabro. hoc 

1 Detlefsen : tunicas. 

2 Mayhoff : tenuissimum quorum. 

^ Mayhoff : livido de (1. ac Detlefsen). 



" Used for well-ropes and for binding sheaves. 
* Acer pavonaceum. 



430 



BOOK XVI. .XXV. 65 -XXVI. 67 

peeled off cannot be bent ; nor does the male trce 
produce seed or a flower as the feniale does, and the 
female is thicker in the trunk and its wood is white 
and of superior quality. A remarkable fact in 
regard to the lime is that no animal will touch its 
fruit, whereas the juice of the leaves and bark has a 
sweet taste. Between the bark and the wood there 
are thin coats made by a number of layers of skin, 
made from which are the ropes called Ume-w4thies,<* 
and the thinnest part of them provided lime- 
chaplets, famous for the ribbons of wreaths of honour 
in old times. Lime-wood is worm-proof, and it 
makes useful timber although the tree is of extremely 
moderate height. 

XXVI. The maple, which is of about the same size Themapie: 
as the lime, is second only to the citrus in its elegance al^triluuon. 
as a material for cabinet-making and in the finish 
it allows of. It is of several kinds : the white 
maple, an exceptionally Hght-coloured wood, is 
called Gallic maple, and grows in Italy north of the 
Po, and on the other side of the Alps ; the second 
kind has blotches running in wavy lines, and in its 
hner variety has received the name ^ of ' peacock 
maple ' from its resemblance to a peacock's tail, 
the finest sorts growing in Istria and Tyrol ; and an 
inferior variety is called the thick-veined maple. 
The Greeks distinguish the varieties by locaUty, 
saying that the maple of the plains is light-coloured 
and not wavy — this kind they call glinon — but the 
mountain maple has a rather wavy grain and is 
harder, the wood of the male tree being still wavier 
and suitable for making more elegant articles ; while 
a third kind is the hornbeam, a reddish wood that 
splits easily, with a rough bark of a pale colour. 

431 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

alii generis proprii esse malunt et Latine carpinum 
appellant. 

68 XXVII. Pulcherrimum vero est bruscum, multoque 
excellentius etiamnmii molluscum ; tuber utrumque 
arboris eius, bruscum intortius crispum, molluscum 
simplicius sparsum, et si magnitudinem mensarum 
caperet, haut dubie praeferretur citro ; nunc intra 
pugillares lectorumque silicios ^ ^[aut lamnas] ^ raro 
usu spectatur. e brusco fiunt et mensae, sed ^ 

69 nigrescentes. reperitur et in alno tuber, set * tanto 
deterius quantum ab acere alnus ipsa distat. aceris 
mares prius florent. etiamnunc in siccis nata ^ prae- 
feruntur aquaticis, sicut et fraxini. est trans Alpes 
arbor simillima aceri albo materie quae vocatur 
staphylodendron : fert siliquas et in iis nucleos sa- 
pore nucis abellanae. 

70 XXVIII, In primis vero materies honorata buxo 
est raro crispanti nec nisi radice, de cetero levi, cuius 
materia est lentitie quadam ^ et duritie ac pallore 
commendabiUs, ipsa vero arbor et ' topiario opere. 
tria eius genera : GaUicum, quod in metas emittitur 
amphtudinemque proceriorem ; oleastrmii in omni usu 
damnatum gravem praefert odorem ; tertium genus 
nostras vocant e silvestri, ut credo, mitigatum satu, 

^ Mendam Rackham : v.ll. sublicios, solicios (solidos Salma- 
sius). 

^ Gloss. secl. RackJiam. 

3 sed add. ? Mayhoff. 

* lan : tubere aut tuber. 

^ Rackham : natae. 

^ levi . . . quadam Detlejsen : lenis quies materiae 
silentio quodam. 

■^ Mayhoff : in ipsa vero arbore. 

" The text is doubtful. If lectorum is genitive plural of 
lector, perhaps readers' xeading-stands and book-rests are 
described. 

432 



BOOK XVI. XXVI. 67-xxviii. 70 

Othcrs preftr to class this as belonging to a special 
kind of tree, and give it the Latin name of carpinus. 

XXVII. But a very beautiful feature of the maple 
is the growth on it called bruscum, and yet much 
more remarkable the molluscum, both knots, the 
former veined in a twistier pattern, while the latter 
is covered witli simpler markings, and if it were 
hirge enough for tables to be made of it would 
undoubtedly be preferred to citrus-wood ; but as it 
is, except for writing-tablets and veneering on 
couches," it is seldom seen in use. Bruscum is also 
used for making tables, though they have a darkish 
colour. A simihir growth is also found on the alder, 
but it is as far inferior to the others as the alder 
itself is to the maple. The male maple flowers 
before the female. It must be added that maples 
grown in dry places are preferred to those in marshes, 
as is also tlie case with ash-trees. North of the Alps 
grows a tree ^ making timber that closely resembles 
the white ash ; its Greek name is the cluster-tree, 
as it bears pods containing kernels, which taste Uke 
a hazel nut, 

XXVIII. But a timber rated in the first rank is Theioz. 
tliat of the box, which is rarely marked with wrinkles 

and only at the root, the rest of it being smooth ; 
box-wood is esteemed for a certain toughness and 
hardness and for its pale colour, while the tree itself 
is valued in ornamental gardening. There are three 
kinds : the Gallic box, which is trained to shoot up 
into conical pillars and attains a rather large height ; 
the oleaster, which is condemned for all purposes, 
and which gives out an unpleasant smell ; and a 
third kind called our native box, a cultivated variety 

* Tiie wild pistachio. 

433 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

diifusius et densitate parietum, virens semper ac 

71 tonsile. buxus Pyrenaeis ac Cytoriis montibus 
plurima et Berecyntio tractu, crassissima in Corsica, 
flore^ spernendo, quae causa amaritudinis mellis ; 
semen cunctis animantibus invisum. nec in Olympo 
Macedoniae gracilior, sed brevis. amat frigida, 
aspera;2 in igni quoque duritia quae ferro, nec 
flamma nec carbone utili. 

72 XXIX. Inter has atque frugiferas materie vi- 
tiumque amicitia accipitur ulmus. Graeci duo 
genera eius novere : montanam ^ quae sit amplior, 
campestrem quae fruticosa. Italia Atinias vocat 
excelsissimas (et ex is siccaneas praefert quae non 
sint riguae), alterum genus Gallicas, tertium nostrates, 
densiore folio et ab eodem pediculo numerosiore, 
quartum silvestre. Atiniae non ferunt samaram — 
ita vocatur ulmi semen — omnesque radicum plantis 
proveniunt, reliquae et* semine. 

73 XXX. Nunc celeberrimis arborum dictis quaedam 
in universum de cunctis indicanda sunt. montes 
amant cedrus, larix, taeda et ceterae e quibus resina 
gignitur, item aquifolia, buxus, ilex, iuniperus, te- 

1 Warmlngtnn : flore non. 

2 aspera ? Mayhoff : aprlca. 
^ AJayhoff: montuosam. 

* et add. Rackham, 

" Tho elm ranges with the timber trees because it supplies 
timber and with the fruit-trees because vines are grown on it 
as a trellis. 

^' In habit, not in size. 

' The meaning is suckers growing from the roots of a tree, 
which are detached and planted to grow into another tree. 

434 



BOOK X\'I. .wviii. 70 XXX. 73 

as I believe of the \\i\d hox, which spreads more 
than the others and fornis a thick hedge ; it is an 
evergreen, and will stand ch})ping, The box abounds 
in the Pyrenees and the Kidros mountains and in 
the Berecyntus district, and it grows thickest in 
Corsica, where it bears an objectionable blossom, 
which causes the bitter taste in Corsican honey ; 
its seed arouses the aversion of all Hving creatures. 
The box on Mount Olympus in Macedonia makes 
as thick a growth as the Corsican, but it is of a low 
height. Box loves cold and rugged places ; also in 
a fire it is as hard as iron, and is of no use for fuel 
or charcoal. 

XXIX. Among these and the fruit-bearing trees Theeim. 
a place is given to the ehn, because of its timber and 

the friendship betw^een it and the vine.° The Greeks 
are acquainted with two kinds of elm : the mountain 
elm which makes the larger growth, and the elm of 
the plains which grows hke a shrub.^ Italy gives the 
name of Atinian elm to a very lofty kind (and among 
these values highest the dry variety, w^hich will 
not grow in damp places) ; a second kind it calls the 
GalUc elm, a third, which has thicker fohage and 
more leaves growing from the same stalk, the Itahan 
ehn, and a fourth, the wild elm. The Atinian elm 
does not bear samara — that is the name for elm seed 
— and all the elms are grown from shoots of the 
roots,*^ but the other kinds also from seed. 

XXX. The most notable trees having now been ^^JJ^^ 
mentioned, some general facts must be pointed out tree$, 
concerning all trees. The cedar, the larch, the torch- 
pine and the rest of the trees that produce resin 
love mountains, and so also do the holly, box, hohn- 
oak, juniper, turpentine-tree, poplar, mountain ash 

435 



Distrtbution 
varioua 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

rebinthus, populus, ornus, carpinus ; est in Appen- 
nino et frutex qui vocatur cotinus, ad linamenta 

74 modo conchylii colore insignis. montes et valles 
diligunt ^ abies, robur, castaneae, tilia, ilex, cornus. 
aquosis montibus gaudent acer, fraxinus, sorbus, tilia, 
cerasus. non temere in montibus visae sunt prunus, 
punicae, oleastri, iuglans, mori, sabuci ; descendunt 
et in plana cornus, corylus, quercus, ornus, acer, 
fraxinus, fagus, carpinus ; subeunt et in montuosa 
ulmus, malus, pirus, laurus, myrtus, sanguinei 
frutices ilex tinguendisque vestibus nascentis geni- 
stae. gaudet frigidis sorbus, sed magis etiam betulla. 

75 Gallica haec arbor mirabili candore atque tenuitate, 
terribilis magistratuum virgis, eadem circulis flexilis, 
item corbimn costis ; bitumen ex ea Galli excoquunt. 
in eosdem situs comitantur et spina, nuptiarum faci- 
bus auspicatissima, quoniam inde fecerint pastores 
qui rapuerunt Sabinas, ut auctor est Masurius ; nunc 
facibus carpinus, corylus familiarissimae. 

76 XXXI. Aquas odere cupressi, iuglandes, castaneae, 
laburnum. Alpina et haec arbor, nec vulgo nota, dura 
ac candida materie, cuius florem cubitalem longitudine 
apes non adtingunt. odit et quae appellatur lovis 
barba, in opere topiario tonsilis et in rotunditatem 

^ Rac.kham : diligit. 



'^ Ehus cotiniis. 



BOOK XVI. XXX. 73-xxxi. 76 

and hornbeam ; on the Apennines there is also a 
shrub called the cotinus," famous for supplying a 
dye for hnen cloth that resembles purple. The 
fir, hard-oak, chestnuts, hme, holm-oak and cornel 
Hke mountains and valleys. The maple, ash, 
service-tree, Ume and cherry love mountains watered 
by springs. The plum, pomegranate, wikl ohve, 
walnut, mulberry and elder-trees are not generally 
found on mountains ; and the cornel cheiTy, hazcl, 
oak, mountain ash, maple, ash, beech, hornbeam 
come down from the mountains to level ground 
also, while the elm, apple, pear, bay, myrtle, red 
comel, holm-oak and the broom, designed by Nature 
for dyeing cloth, spread up from the plains to moun- 
tain regions as well. The service-tree dehghts in 
cold places, but even more the birch. The latter 
is a GaUic tree, of a remarkable white colour and 
slenderness, a cause of terror as supplying the 
niagistrates' rods of office ; it is also easily bent to 
make hoops and Ukewise the ribs of smaU baskets, 
and the Gauls extract from it bitumen by boiUng. 
These trees are accompanied into the same regions 
by the may also, the most auspicious tree for 
supplying wedding torches, because according to 
the account of Masurius it was used for that purpose 
by the shepherds who carried off the Sabine women ; 
but at the present time the hornbeam and the hazel 
are most usuaUy employed for torches. 

XXXI. The cypress, walnut, chestnut and labur- Treesthat 
num disUke water. The last is another Alpine tree, MS<!r^ 
and is not generaUy known ; its wood is hard and 
white and its flower, which is half a yard long, bees 
wiU not touch. The shrub caUed .Jupiter's bcard, 
used in ornamental gardening and clipped into a 

437 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

77 spissa, argenteo folio. non nisi in aquosis proveniunt 
salices, alni, populi, siler, ligustra tesseris utilissima, 
item vaccinia Italiae in aucupiis sata, Galliae vero 
etiam purpui*ae tinguendae causa ad servitiorum 
vestes. quaecumque communia sunt montibus pla- 
nisque, maiora fiunt et ^ aspectu pulchriora quae in 
campestribus, meliora autem fructu, materie crispi- 
ora quae ^ in montibus, exceptis malis pirisque. 

78 XXXII. Praeterea arborum aliis decidunt folia, aliae 
sempiterna coma virent — quam differentiam ante- 
cedat necesse est prior ; sunt enim arborum quaedam 
omnino silvestres, quaedam urbaniores, quoniam his 
placet nominibus distinguere : hae ^ mites, quae fructu 
aut aha * ahqua dote umbrarumque officio humanius 
iuvant, non improbe dicantur urbanae. 

79 XXXIII. Harum generis ^ non decidunt ® oleae, 
lauro, palmae, myrto, cupressis, pinis, hederae, 
rhododendro et, quamvis herba dicatur, sabinae. 
rhododendron, ut nomine apparet, a Graecis venit 
(alii nerium vocarunt, ahi rhododaphnen) ; sempiter- 
num fronde, rosae simihtudine, cauhbus fruticosum, 
iumentis caprisque et ovibus venenum est, idem 
homini contra serpentium venena remedio. 

80 Silvestrium generis foha non decidunt abieti, larici, 
pinastro, iunipero, cedro, terebintho, buxo, ilici, 

^ ct add. Mayhoff. ^ Mayhoff : crispioraque. 

^ ac Mayhoff. * alia add. Backham. 

^ Maykoff : generi. 

* decidiint <folia>? Rackham. 



" Brookwillow. 

^ The whortleberry does not in fact grow in damp places; 
but identification is uncertain. Nor does the privet confine 
itself to damp ground. 

«^ Greek for ' rose-tree.' 

438 



BOOK XVI. XXXI. 76-xxxiii. 80 

round bushy shape, and having a silvery leaf, also 
disHkes -svater. Willows, alders, poplars, the siler" 
and the privet,the last extremely useful for making 
talHes, will only grow in places where there is water, 
and the same is the case M'ith the whortleberry,^ 
grown in bird-snares in Italy, but in Gaul also to 
supply purple dye for slaves' clothes. All the trees 
that are common to the mountains and the plains 
grow larger and fmer to look at when in flat country, 
but those on the mountains grow better fruit and 
make timber ^\ath a wavier grain, excepting the 
apples and pears. 

XXXII. Beside this, some trees shed their leaves wudand 
but others are evergreen — although before this differ- '^esT'^ 
ence another one has to be mentioned first : some 

trees are entirely wild, but some being more civiUzed 
— as these are the accepted names by which they are 
distinguished : the latter, kindly trees which render 
more humane aid by their fruit or some other 
property and by affording shade, may not im- 
properly be called ' civiUzed.' 

XXXIII. The trees of the latter class that do not Evergreen 
shed their leaves are the ohve, laurel, palm, mjTtle, ""^"* 
cypress, the pines, ivy, oleander and savin — though 

the last may be called a herbaceous plant. The 
oleander, as is shown by its name,<^ comes from 
the Greeks (another Greek name given it being 
nerion, and another * rose-laurel ') ; it is an evergreen 
that resembles a rose-tree, and throws out shoots 
from the stems ; it is poisonous for cattle and for 
goats and sheep, but for man it serves as an antidote 
against the poisons of snakes. 

Trees of the forest class that do not shed their 
leaves are the fir, larch, wild pine, juniper, cedar, 

439 



PLINY : NATURAL HISTORY 

aquifolio, suberi, taxo, tamarici. inter utraque 
genera sunt andrachle in Graecia et ubique unedo: 
reliqua enim folia decidunt iis praeterquam in cacu- 
minibus. non decidunt autem et in fruticum genere 

81 cedro ^ cuidam, rubo, calamo. in Thurino agro, ubi 
Sybaris fuit, ex ipsa urbe prospiciebatur quercus una 
numquara foha demittens nec ante mediam aestatem 
germinans ; idque mirum est Graecis auctoribus pro- 
ditum apud nos postea sileri. nam locorum tanta vis 
est ut circa Memphim Aegj^ti et in Elephantine 
Thebaidis nulli arborum decidant, ne vitibus quidem.^ 

82 XXXIV. Ceterae omnes extra praedictas, etenim 
enumerare longum est, foha deperdunt; observa- 
tumque non arescere nisi tenuia et lata et moUia, 
quae vero non decidant callo crassa et angusta esse. 
falsa definitio est non decidere iis quarum pinguior 
sucus sit ; quis enim potest in ihce intellegere ? 
decidere Timaeus mathematicus sole scorpionem 
transeunte sideris vi et quodam veneno aeris putat ; 
cur ergo non eadem causa adversum omnes polleat 

83 iure miremur. cadunt plurimis autumno, quaedam 
amittunt tardius atque in hiemes prorogant moras ; 

^ cedro coll. Theophrasto add. Mayhojf. 
440 



BOOK XVI. XXXIII. 80-xxxiv. 83 

tuqjentine, box, holrn-oak, holly, cork, yew, tamarisk. 
Between the evergreen and the deciduous classes 
are the andrachle growing in Greece and the arbutus 
in all countries, for they shed all their leaves except 
those on the top of the tree. In the class of shrubs Exceptionai 
also a kind of cedar, the bramble and the reed do not norJ"'^ 
shed their leaves. In the territory of Thurii, where <ieciduoua 
Sybaris once stood, there was a single oak that was 
visible from the actual city which never shed its 
leaves and which did not bud before midsummer ; 
and it is surprising that this fact having been pub- 
Hshed by Greek authors has never subsequently 
been mentioned among ourselves. The fact is that 
the influence of some locahties is so great that in the 
neighbourhood of Memphis in Egypt and at Elephan- 
tine in the Thebaid none of the trees shed their 
leaves, not even the vines. 

XXXI\^ All the rest of the trees except those Dedduous 
ah*eady mentioned — for it would be a lengthy business 
to enumerate them — shed their leaves ; and it has 
becn noticed that the leaves do not wither unless they 
are thin, broad and soft, whereas the leaves which 
do not fall off are thick and fleshy and narrow in 
shape. It is an erroneous classification to say that 
the trees which do not shed their leaves are those with 
a more unctuous juice ; for who can detect that 
property in the case of the holm-oak ? The mathe- 
matician Timaeus thinks that they fall when the sun 
is passing through Scorpio owing to the strength of 
that constellation and a certain poison in the air ; 
but then we may justly wonder why the same in- 
fluence is not operative against all these trees. 
Most trees shed their leaves in autumn, but some lose 
them later, and prolong the deLiy into the winter ; 

VOL. IV. p 441 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

neque inteiest maturius gerininasse, utpote cum 
quaedam primae germinent et inter novissimas 
nudentur, ut amygdalae, fraxini, sabuci, morus autem 
novissima germinet, cum primis folia demittat. 

84 magna et in hoc vis soli : prius decidunt in siccis 
macrisque, et vetustae prius arbori, multis etiam ante- 
quam maturescat fructus, ut serotinae fico et hibernae 
piro et malo, granatumque est pomum tantum aspici 
in matre. neque his autem quae semper retinent 
comas eadem foha durant subnascentibus aUis ; tum 
arescunt vetera, quod evenit circa solstitia maxime. 

85 XXXV. FoUorum unitas in suo cuique genere per- 
manet, praeterquam populo, hederae, crotoni (quam 
et cici diximus vocari). popuh tria genera, alba ac 
nigra et quae Li])yca appellatur minima foUo ac 

86 nigerrima fungisque enascentibas laudatissima. alba 
foho bicolor, superne candicans inferiore parte viridi. 
huic nigraeque et crotoni in iuventa circinatae 
rotunditatis sunt, vetustiora in angulos exeunt ; e 
contrario hederae angulosa rotundantur. popu- 
lorum foliis grandissima lanugo evolat candida et 
radiata, foho numerosiore candicant ut ^ villi.^ foha 
granatis et araygdaUs rubentia. 



^ Mayhojf : candida et ut. 
^ Kdd. : villae. 



442 



BOOK XVI . xxxiv. 83-xxxv. 86 

and it makes no difference if they budded earlier, 
inasmuch as some trees are the first to bud and 
among the last to be stripped of their leaves, for 
instance abiionds, ash-trees, elders, whereas the 
mulberry is the latest to bud and one of the first 
to shed its leaves. The soil also has a great influence 
in this matter : the leaves fall earher on dry, thin soils, 
and earUer with an old tree, in many cases even 
before the fruit can ripen, for instance, in the case 
of the late fig and the winter pcar and apple, and 
with the pomegranate the fruit is the only thing 
visible on the parent tree. But not even with the 
trees that ahvays keep their foHage do the same 
leaves last on with others shooting up beneath them 
— when this happens the old leaves wither away, 
this occurring mostly about the solstices. 

XXXV. Each of the trees in^its o\\ti kind has a per- Vaneties of 
manent uniformity of leaf, with the exception of the f^^^^^- 
poplar, the ivy and the croton (which, as we have said, xv. 24. 
is also called the cici). There are three kinds of 
poplars, the white, the black and the one called the 
Libyan poplar, which has a very small and very dark 
leaf and which is very famous for the mushrooms 
that grow on it. The white poplar has a leaf of two 
colours, white on the upper side and green under- 
neath. With this tree and the black poplar and the 
croton the leaves are exactly circular when young but 
project into angles when older ; whereas the leaves 
of the ivy are angular at first but become round. 
From the leaves of the white poplar springs out a 
quantity of shiny white down, and when the foHage 
is specially thick the trees are white all over hke 
fleeces. Pomegranate and almond trees have reddish 
leaves. 

443 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

87 XXXVI. Mirum in prirnis id quod ulmo tiliaeque et 
oleae et populo albae et salici evenit : circumaguntur 
enim folia earum post solstitium, nec alio argu- 

88 mento certius intellegitur sidus confectum. est et 
publica omnium foliorum in ipsis ditferentia : namque 
pars inferior a terra herbido viret colore, ab eadem 
leviora, nervos callumque et articulos in superiore ha- 
bent parte, incisuras vero subter ut manus humana. 
oleae superne candidiora et minus levia, item hederae. 
sed omnium foUa cotidie ad solem oscitant, ut ^ inferi- 
ores partes tepefieri volentia. superior pars omnium 
lanuginem quantulamcumque habet, quae in aliis 
gentium lana est. 

89 XXXVII. In oriente funes vaUdos e foUis palmae 
fieri dictum est, eosque in umore utiUores esse. et 
apud nos vero palmis a messe decerpuntur (ex his 
meUora quae sese non diviserint), siccantur sub tecto 
quaternis diebus, mox in sole expanduntur et noctibus 
reUcta, donec candore inarescant, postea in opera 
finduntur. 

90 XXXVIII. Latissima fico, viti, platano, angusta 
myrto, punicae.^ oleae, capiUata pino, cedro, aculeata 
aquifoUo et iUcum generi — nam iuniperis spina pro 
foUo est, — carnosa cupresso, tamarici,crassissima alno, 



^ ut add. Rackham. 
2 Edd. : punico. 



444 



BOOK XVI. XXXVI. 87-xxxviii. 90 

XXXVI. An exceptionally remarkable thing occurs PeaUiaHties 
in the case of the elm, Hme, oHve, white poplar and "^^^^'^^^' 
willow : after midsummer their leaves turn right 
round, and no other indication shows with greater 
certainty that the season is finished. Also their leaves 
contain in themselves a variation that is common to 
all fohage : the under surface, towards the ground, 
is of a bright grass-green colour, and on the same side 
they are comparatively smooth, while on their upper 
part they have sinews and hard skin and articulations, 
but creases underneath hke the human hand. The 
leaves of the ohve are whiter and not so smooth on 
the upper side, and ivy-leaves the same. But the 
leaves of all trees open out every day towards the 
sun, as if intending their under side to be warmed. 
The uppcr side of all leaves has however small an 
amount of down upon it, which in some countries 
serves for wool. 

XXX\TI. We have said that in the east palm- Paim-ieoves 
leaves are used for making strong ropes, and that-^^°^ 
these are made specially serviceable for use in ^ii- so. 
water. Indeed with us also the leiives are plucked 
from the palms after harvest, the better ones being 
those that have no divisions in them, and are put to 
dry indoors for a period of four days and then spread 
out in the sun, being left out at night as well, until 
they dry a bright white colour, and afterwards they 
are spht for use in manufacture. 

XXXVIII. The fig, vine and plane have very broad Tariaus 
leaves and the myrtle,pomegranate and ohve narrow andSrange 
ones ; those of the pine and cedar are hke hairs, those "^^* »/ 
of the holly and one kind of holm-oak prickly — indeed 
the juniper has a spine instead of a leaf. The leaves 
of the cypress and tamarisk are fleshy, those of the 

445 



PLINY : NATURAL HISTORY 
longa harundini, salici, palmae et duplicia, circinata 
piro, mucronata malo, angulosa hederae, divisa 
platano, insecta pectinum modo piceae, abieti, sinuosa 

91 toto ambitu robori, spinosa cute rubo. mordacia 
sunt quibusdam, ut urticis, pungentia pino, piceae, 
abieti, larici, cedro, aquifoliis, pediculo brevi oleae, 
iUci, longo vitibus, tremulo populis, et iisdem solis 
inter se crepitantia. iam et in pomo ipso mah 
quodam in genere parva mediis emicant folia, in- 
terim et gemina, praeterea aliis circa ramos, aliis 
et in cacumine ramorum, robori et in caudice ipso. 

92 iam densa aut ^ rara semperque lata rariora. dis- 
posita myrto, concava buxo, inordinata pomis, plura 
eodem pediculo exeuntia malis pirisque ; ramulosa 
ulmo et cytiso. quibus adicit Cato decidua ^ popu- 
lea quemaque, animahbus iubens dari non perarida, 
bubus quidem et ficulnea ilignaque et hederacea ; 
dantur et ex harundine ac lauru. decidunt sorbo 



^ Mayhoff : ac. 

2 Gelen : decidua ea. 



446 



BOOK XVI. xxxviii. 90-92 

alder extremely thick, those of the reed and willow 
are long and the leaves of the palm are also double ; 
those of the pear roundcd, those of the apple 
pointed, those of the ivy angular, those of the plane 
divided, those of the pitch-pine and fir separated 
hke the teeth of a comb, those of the hard oak 
crinkly all round the edge, those of the bramble 
have a prickly skin. In some plants the leaves sting, 
for instance nettles ; those of the pine, pitch-pine, 
fir, larch, cedar and the holHes are prickly ; those of 
the oUve and holm-oak have a short stalk, those of 
the vine a long one, those of the poplar a stalk that 
quivers, and poplars are the only trees on which the 
leaves rustle against one another. Again, in one 
kind of the apple class there are small leaves even 
on the fruit itself, shooting out from the middle of 
the apples, sometimes even pairs of leaves ; and 
moreover with some trees the leaves shoot round the 
boughs, but with others also at the tip of the boughs, 
and with the hard oak also on the trunk. Also 
leaves grow either dense or thinly spread, and broad 
leaves are always scantier. In the case of the myrtle 
they are arranged regularly, with the box they 
curve over, on fruit trees they have no arrangement, 
on the apple and the pear several shoot from the same 
stalk ; the leaves of the elm and the cytisus are 
covered with branching veins. With these Cato R-R- v, 
includes the leaves of the poplar and oak when they 
have fallen, advising that they should be given to 
animals before they have become quite dry, and in- 
deed that the leaves of the fig and holm-oak and 
also ivy-leaves should be fed to oxen ; they are also 
given the leaves of the reed and the laurel. The 
servlce-tree sheds its leaves all at once, but all the 

447 



PLINY : NATURAL HISTORY 

universa, ceteris paulatim. — Et de foliis hacte 
nus. 

93 XXXIX. Ordo autem naturae annuus ita se habet : 
primus est conceptus flare incipiente vento favonio, 
ex a. d. fere vi idus Febr. hoc maritantur vive- 
scentia e terra, quippe cum etiam equae in His- 
pania, ut diximus : hic est genitalis spiritus mundi a 
fovendo dictus, ut quidam existimavere. flat ab 

94 occasu aequinoctiali ver inchoans, cathtionem ^ rustici 
vocant, gestiente natura semina accipere ; eaque 
animam ferente omnibus satis concipiunt variis diebus 
et pro sua quaeque natura, alia protinus, ut animalia, 
tardius aUqua et diutius gravida partus gerunt, quod 
germinatio ideo vocatur. pariunt vero cum florent, 
flosque ille ruptis constat utricuHs ; educatio in pomo 
est. 

95 Haec ^ et germinatio labor arborum ; ^ XL. flos est 
pleni veris indicium et anni renascentis, flos gaudium 
arborum : tunc se novas aliasque quam sunt osten- 
dunt, tunc variis colorum picturis in certamen usque 
luxuriant. sed hoc negatum plerisque; non enim 
omnes florent, et sunt tristes quaedam quaeque non 
sentiant gaudia annorum; nam neque ilex, picea, 

1 catulitionem Caesarius, sed stet ruslica locutio. 

- Mayhoff : hoc. 

'■^ Salmasius : germinatio laborum, 

448 



BOOK XVI. XXXVIII. 92-xL. 95 

other trces lose them gradually. — And so much on 
the subject of leaves. 

XXXIX. The following is the order which Nature Theannnai 
observes throughout the year. First comes fertihza- l^u^Mingf 
tion, taking place when the west wind begins to blow, 
which is generally from February the 8th. This 
wind impregnates the creatures that derive Hfe from 
the earth — indeed in Spain even the mares, as we viii. lee. 
have stated : this is the generating breath of the 
universe, its name Favonius being derived, as some 
have supposed, from fovere, ' to foster.' It blows 
from due west and marks the beginning of spring. 
Country people call it the cubbing season, as Nature 
is longing to receive the seeds ; and when she brings 
Hfe to all the seeds sown, they conceive in a varying 
number of days and each according to its nature, 
some immediately, as is the case with animals, 
while some do so more slowly and carry their progeny 
for a longer period of gestation, and the process is 
consequently called ' germination.' WTien a plant 
flowers it may be said to give birth, and the flower 
produced makes its appearance by bursting the 
capsules ; the process of its upbringing takes place 
in the fruit stage. 

This and the process of budding are the trees' 
labour ; XL. the blossom is the token of full spring 
and of the rebirth of the year — the blossom is the trees' 
rejoicing : it is then that they show themselves new 
creatures and transformed from what they really are, 
it is then that they quite revel in rivalUng each other 
with the varied hues of their colouring. But to Non- 
many of them this is denied, for they do not all ^^,^"^ 
blossom, and some of them are sombre and incapable 
of enjoying the dehghts of the seasons ; the hohii- 

449 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

larix, pinus uUo flore exhilarantur natalesve pomorum 
annuos versicolori nuntio promittunt, nec fici atque 
caprifici, protinus enim fructum pro flore gignunt : 
in ficis mirabiles sunt et abortus qui mmiquam 

96 maturescunt. nec iuniperi florent : quidam earum 
duo genera tradunt : alteram florere nec ferre, quae 
vero non floreat ferre protinus bacis nascentibus 
quae biennio haereant ; sed id falsum, omnibusque 
his dura facies semper. sic et hominum multis 
fortuna sine flore est. 

97 XLI. Omnes autem germinant, etiara quae non 
florent. magna et locorum differentia, quippe cum ex 
eodem genere quae sunt in palustribus priora germi- 
nent, mox campestria, novissima in silvis ; per se autem 
tardiu^ piri silvestres quam ceterae,^ primo favonio 
cornus, proxime laurus pauloque ante aequinoctium 
tilia, acer, inter primas vero populus, ulmus, salix, 

98 alnus, nuces ; festinat et platanus. ceterae ^ vere 
coepturo, aquifolium, terebinthus, paliurus, castanea, 
glandes, serotino autem germine malus, tardissimo 
suber. quibusdam geminatur germinatio nimia soH 
ubertate aut invitante caeli voluptate, quod magis in 



1 Urlichs : cetera. 
" Edd. : cetera. 



45° 



BOOK XVI. XL. 95-xLi. 98 

oak, the pitch-pine, the larch and the pine do not 
bedeck themselves with any blossom or announce 
the yearly birthdays of their fruit by a many-coloured 
harbinger, nor yet do the cultivated and the wild 
fig, for they produce their fruit straight away in- 
stead of a blossom, and in the case of the fig it is also 
remarkable that there are abortive fruits that never 
ripen. The juniper also does not blossom — though 
some %\Titers record two kinds of juniper, one of which 
flowers but does not bear, and one which does not 
flower but does bear, its berries coming to birth 
immediately, which remain on the tree for two 
years; but this is a mistake, and all the junipers 
present the same gloomy aspect always. Similarly, 
the fortunes of many human beings also lack a 
flowering season. 

XLI. AU trees however produce buds, even those varions 
which do not blossom. There is also a great difference ^SjJ*4 
between locaUties, inasmuch as of the same kind 
of tree those growing in marshy places bud earUer, 
those on the plains next and those in woods last of 
all ; but taking them separately the wild pear buds 
earher than the rest, the cornel buds when the west 
wind begins to blow% next the laurel, and a Httle 
before the equinox the lime and maple — while 
among the earUest trees to flower are the poplar, 
elm, willow, alder and the nuts ; the plane also buds 
quickly. The other trees bud when spring is about 
to begin, the holly, terebinth, Christ's thorn, chest- 
nut and the acorn-bearing trees, while the apple is a 
late budder, and the cork buds latest of all. Some Later 
trees bud twice, owing to excessive fertiUty of soil " "^*" 
or the allurement of agreeable weather, and this occurs 
to a greater degree with the young blades of cereals, 

451 



rUNY: NATURAL HISTORY 

herbis segetum evenit, in arboribiis tamen nimia 
99 germinatio elactescit ; sunt aliae naturales quibusdam 
praeterque vernam, quae suis constant sideribus 
(quorum ratio aptius reddetur tertio ab hoc volumine) 
— hiberna aquilae exortu, aestiva canis ortu, tertia 
arcturi. has duas quidam omnibus arboribus com- 
munes putant, sentiri autem maxime in fico, vite, 
punicis, causam adferentes quoniam in Thessalia 
Macedoniaque plurima tum ficus exeat ; maxime ta- 

100 men in Aegypto apparet haec ratio. et reliquae 
quidem arbores, ut primum coepere, continuant 
germinationem, robur et abies et larix intermittunt 
tripertito ac terna germina edunt ; ideo et ter squamas 
corticum spargunt, quod omnibus arboribus in 
germinatione evenit quoniam praegnatium rumpitur 
cortex. est autem prima earum incipiente vere 
circiter xv diebus, iterum germinant transeunte 
geminos sole ; sic fit ut prima cacumina inpelli 

101 secutis ^ appareat, geniculato incremento. tertia 
est earundem a solstitio brevissima, nec diutius 
septenis diebus; clareque et tunc cernitur excre- 
scentium cacuminum articulatio. vitis sola bis 
parturit, primum cum emittit uvam, iterum cum 

1 secundis Urlichs. 



BOOK XVT. xLi. 9S-101 

although in trees excessive budding tends to exhaust 
thc sap ; but some trees have other buddings by 
nature, in addition to that which takes place in spring, 
these being settled by their own constellations (an 
account of which will be given more appropriately 
in the next volume but one after this) — a winter xviii. 
budding at the rising of Aquila, a summer one at the ^^^ ^* 
rising of the Dog-star and a third at the rising of 
Arcturus. Some people think that the two latter 
buddings are common to all trees, but that they are 
most noticeable in the fig, the viiie and the pome- 
granate ; and they explain this as due to the fact 
that those are the times when there is the most 
abundant crop of figs in Thessaly and Macedonia ; 
although this explanation holds good most clearly in 
Egypt. Also wliereas the rest of the trees, as soon 
as they have begun to bud, keep on budding con- 
tinuously, the hard-oak, the fir and the larch divide 
the process into three parts and produce their 
buds in three batches; consequently they also 
shed scales of bark three times, a process which 
occurs in all trees during germination because 
the bark of the pregnant tree is burst open. But 
their first budding is at the beginning of spring and 
takes about a fortnight, while they bud for the second 
time when the sun is passing through the Twins, 
with the consequence that the first shoots are seen 
to be pushed up by those that foUow, the growth being 
attached by a joint. The third budding period of 
the same trees, which starts from midsummer, is the 
shortest, and does not take more than a week ; 
and on this occasion also tlie jointing on the tips as 
they grow out is clearly visible. Only the vine buds 
twice, first when it puts forth a cluster and then 

453 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

digerit. eorum cjuae non florent partus tantum est et 

102 maturitas. quaedam statim in germinatione florent, 
properantque in eo sed tarde maturescunt, ut vitis ; 
serotino quaedam germinatu ^ florent maturantque 
celeriter, sicuti morus quae novissima urbanarum 
germinat nec nisi exacto frigore, ob id dicta sapientis- 
sima arborum ; sed cum coepit, in tantum universa 
germinatio erumpit ut una nocte peragatur etiam 
cum strepitu. 

103 XLII. Ex iis quae hieme aquila exoriente, ut dixi- 
mus, concipiunt fioret prima omnium amygdala mense 
lanuario, Martio vero pomum maturat. ab ea 
proximae florent Armeniaca, dein tuberes et prae- 
coces, illae peregrinae ac ^ coactae ; ordine autem 
naturae silvestrium primae sabucus cui meduUa 
plurima et cui nulla cornus mascula, urbanarum 
malus parvoque post, ut simul possint ^ videri, pirus 

104 et cerasus et prunus. has * sequitur laurus, illam 
cuprcssus, dein punica, fici. et vites et oleae 
florentibus iam his germinant, concipiunt vergiharum 
exortu: hoc sidus illarum est, floret autem solstitio 
vitis et quae paulo serius incipit olea. deflorescunt 
omnia septenis diebus non celerius, quaedam tardius, 

1 serotina . . . germinant Detlefsen. 

2 V.l haec. 

^ Rackham : possit. 
' has add. Rackham, 

454 



BOOK XVI. xLi. loi -xLii. 104 

when it spreads it out. Tiiose species whicli ck) not 
blossom only produce shoots and mature them. 
Some blossom at once during the process of budding, 
and are quick in the blossom but slow in ripening, 
for instance the vine ; some blossom with a late 
budding and ripen quickly, for instance the mulberry, 
which buds the hitest among cultivated trees and 
only when the cold weather is over, owing to which it 
has been called the wisest of the trees ; but when its 
budding has begun it breaks out all over the tree so 
completely that it is completed in a single night with 
a veritable crackhng. 

XLII. Of the trees that we have spoken of as Spedesin 
budding in winter at the rising of Aquila, the almond '^t%% 
blossoms first of all, in the month of January, while in ji"werin</. 
March it develops its fruit. The next to flower 
after the almond is the Armenian plum,° then the 
jujube and the early peach — these exotic trees and 
forced; the first to fiower in the order of nature 
are, of forest trees, the elder, which has a great 
deal of pith, and the male cornel, which has none ; 
and of cultivated trees the apple, and a httle after- 
wards, so that they can be seen blossoming simul- 
taneously, the pear, the cherry and the plum. 
These are followed by the laurel, and that by the 
cypress, and then the pomegranate and the figs. 
When these are ah'eady flowering the vines and the 
olives also bud, and their sap rises at the rising of the 
Pleiades — that is their constellation, whereas the vine 
flowers at midsummer, and also the ohve, which 
begins a Uttle later. AU begin to shed their 
blossom not sooner than a week after fiowering, 
and some more slowly, but none more than a 

« Prohably tbe apricot, see XV. 41. 

455 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

sed nulla pluribus bis septenis, omnia et intra viii 
id. lul. etesiarum praecursu. 

105 XLIII. Nec statim fructus sequitur in aliquibus. 
cornus enim circa solstitia reddit primo candidum, 
postea sanguineum. ex eo genere femina post 
autimmum fert bacas acerbas et ingustabiles cunctis 
animantibus, ligno quoque fungosa et inutilis, cum 
mas e fortissimis durissimisque sit : tanta differentia 

lOG ab eodem genere fit sexu. et terebinthus messibus 
reddit semen et acer et fraxinus, nuces et mala 
et pira praeterquam hiberna aut praecocia autumno, 
glandiferae serius etiamnum, vergiharum occasu, 
aesculus tantum autumno, incipiente autem hieme 
quaedam genera mali pirique et suber. abies floret 
croci colore circa solstitium, semen reddit post 
vergiliarum occasum ; pinus autem et picea prae- 
veniunt germinatione xv fere diebus, semen vero 
post vergilias et ipsae reddunt. 

107 XLIV. Citreae et iuniperus et ilex anniferae haben- 
tur,^ novusque fructus in his cum annotino pendet. in 
maxima tamen admiratione pinus est : habet fructum 
maturescentem, habet proximo anno ad maturitatem 
venturum ac deinde tertio. nec ulla arborum avidius 
se promittit : quo mense ex ea nux decei-pitur eodem 

1 habeantur ? Rackham. 



BOOK XVI. xLir. 104-xLiv. 107 

fortnight later, and all well within the 8th of July, 
anticipated by the trade-winds. 

XLIIl. In the case of some trees the fruit does not Daus of 
follow immediately. The cornel produces its fruit •''^*""^ 
about midsummer ; it is at first white and afterwards 
blood-red. The female of the same kind bears its 
berries after autumn ; tliey are sour and no animal 
will touch them ; also its wood is spongy and of no 
use, although the timber of the male tree is one of the 
strongest and hardest there is, so great is the differ- 
ence caused by sex in the same kind of tree. The 
terebinth and also the maple and the ash produce 
their seed at harvest time, but nut-trees, apples and 
pears, excepting winter or early varieties, in the 
autumn, and the acorn-bearing trees still later, at 
the setting of the Pleiades, the winter oak only in 
autumn, while some kinds of apple and pear and the 
cork-tree fruit at the beginning of winter. The 
fir flowers with a saffron-coloured blossom about 
midsummer and produces its seed after the setting 
of the Pleiades ; but the pine and the pitch-pine 
come before it in budding by about a fortnight, 
though they themselves also drop their seed after 
the Pleiades. 

XLIV. Citrus-trees and the juniper and the holm- PemUarities 
oak are classed as bearing all the year round, and on ^jj'^^^^^' 
these trees the new crop of fruit hangs along with that 
of the previous year. The pine, however, is the most 
remarkable, as it carries both fruit that is beginning 
to ripen and that which will ripen in the following 
year and also in the year after next. Also no tree 
reproduces itself with more eagemess : within a 
month of a cone being plucked from it another 
cone is ripening in the same place, an arrangement 

457 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

maUire.scit alia — sic dispensatur ut nullo non mense 
maturescant. quae se in arbore ipsa divisere azaniae 
vocantur, laeduntque ceteras nisi detrahantur. 

108 XLV. Fructum arborum solae nullum ferunt — hoc 
est ne semen quidem — tamarix scopis tantum nascens, 
populus, alnus, ulmus Atinia, alaternus, cui folia 
inter ihcem et ohvam ; infehces autem existimantur 
damnataeque rehgione quae neque seruntur umquam 
neque fructum ferunt. Cremutius auctor est num- 
quam virere arborem ex qua Phyhis se suspenderit. 
quae gummim gignunt post germinationem aperiunt ^ ; 
gummis non nisi fructu detracto spissatur. 

109 XLVI. NoveUae arbores carent fructu quamdiu 
crescunt. perdunt faciUime ante maturitatem palma, 
ficus, amygdala, malus, pirus, item punica, quae 
etiam roribus nimiis et pruinis florem amittit. qua 
de causa inflectunt ramos eius, ne subrecti umorem 
infestum excipiant atque contineant ; pirus et 
amygdala, etiam si nonpluat sed fiat austrinum caelum 
aut nubilum, amittunt florem, et primos fructus si 

110 cum defloruere tales dies fuerint. ocissime autem 
sahx amittit semen, antequam omnino maturitatem 
sentiat, ob id dicta Homero frugiperda ; secuta 
aetas scelere suo interpretata est hanc sententiam, 
quando semen sahcis muheri sterihtatis medica- 

^ aperiuntur edd. 



" Or porhaps *whieh only grows from shoots.' 
'• Dau^ihtcr of Sithon, king of Thrace, who supposed her 
lov(T Demophoon to be unfaithful : Ovid, Her. III. 38. 
' 'QXeoLKapTTov, Od. X. 510. 



BOOK XVI. xLiv. 107-XLV1. iio 

which ensures that there are cones ripcning in every 
single month of the year. Pine-cones that spUt 
while still on the tree are called azaniae, and if they 
are not removed they injure the rest of the crop. 

XLV. The only trees that bear no fruit — I mean not Barren 
even seed — are the tamarisk, which is of no usc except *^^"^*- 
for making brooms," the poplar, the aldcr, tlic Atinian 
ehn and the alaternus, the leaves of which are between 
those of the holm-oak and the oUvc ; but trees that 
never grow from seed nor bear fruit are considered 
to be unlucky and under a curse. Cremutius states 
that the tree from which Phyllis ^ hanged herself is 
never green. People open gum-producing trees 
after they have budded, but the gum does not 
thicken until after the fruit has been removed. 

XLVI. SapHng trees have no fruit as long as they Varirhi{f 
are growing. The trees most hable to lose their fruit da^el/ 
before it ripens are the palm, the fig, the almond, /''"»'• 
the apple and the pear, and also the pomegranate, 
which excessive dew and frost cause to lose its 
flower as well. In consequence of this people bend 
down its branches, lest if they shoot straight upright 
they may receive and retain the moisture which is 
injurious to them. The pear and almond lose their 
blossom even if it does not rain but a south wind 
sets in or the sky is cloudy, and if that sort of weather 
has prevailed after they have shed their blossom, 
they lose their first fruit. But it is the willow that 
loses its seed most quickly, before it approaches 
ripeness at all. ITiis is the reason why Homer gives 
it the epithet ' fruit-losing ' ; '^ but succeeding ages 
have interpreted the meaning of the word in the 
hght of its own wicked conduct, inasmuch as it is 
well known that willow seed taken as a drug produces 

459 



PLINY: NATURAL IIISTORY 

mentum esse constat. sed in hoc quoque providens 
natura facile nascenti et depacto surculo incuriosius 
semen dedit. una tamen proditur ad maturitatem 
perferre solita in Creta insula ipso descensu lovis 
speluncae durum ^ ligneumque magnitudine ciceris. 

111 XLVII. Fiunt veroquaedamlocivitioinfructuosae,^ 
sicut in Paro silva Cende ^ quae nihil fert ; Persicae 
arbores in Rhodo florent tantum. fit haec differentia 
et sexu, ut in iis quarum * mares non ferunt ; ahqui 
hoc permutant et mares esse quae ferant tradunt. 
facit et densitas sterilitatem. 

112 XLVIII. Gignentium autem quaedam et lateribus 
ramorum et cacuminibus ferunt, ut pirus, punica, 
ficus, myrtus. cetero eadem natura quae frugibus ; 
namque et in eis spica in cacumine nascitur, legumina 
in lateribus. palma sola, ut dictum est, in spathis 
habet fructum racemis propendentem. 

113 XLIX. Reliquis sub foHo pomum ut protegatur, 
excepta fico, cui foHum maximum umbrosissimumque, 
et ideo supra id pomum. eidem uni serius folium 
nascitur quam pomum. insigne proditur in quodam 
genere Cihciae, Cypri, Helladis, ficos sub foHo, grossos 

^ Mayhoff : dovxwQ. aut tovxxm. {tovvnva edd.). 

2 Rackliam : iiifructuosa. 

^ Paro insula cende | ? Mayhoff. 

* Rackham : quae. 



" The Dictaean Cave at Cnossos on the north side of Crete, 
recently excavated by Evans. 

* Unknown : the text should perhaps be altered to give 
' for instance, the cende on tho island of Paros ' (with the 
assuniption that the name of the tree has been corrupted in 
the MBS.). 

460 



BOOK XVI. xLvi. iio-xLix. 113 

barrenness in a woman. But Nature, showing her 
foresight in this matter also, has becn rather careless 
about bestowing seed on a trce that is propagated 
easily even from a plantcd sprig. It is said however 
that one variety of willow usually carries its seed till 
it ripens ; this grows on the island of Crete just by 
the path coming down from the Cave ° of Jupiter ; 
it has a hard woody seed of the size of a chick-pea. 

XLVII. Some trees are rendered barren by a fault LocaJ. 
in the locahty, for instance the forest of Cende * on fj^-iill^^ 
Paros, which bears nothing ; and the peach-trees on 
Rhodes only produce blossom. This peculiarity is 
also caused by sex, as in the kinds of trees of which 
the males do not bear ; though some people reverse 
this and assert that it is the male trees that bear. 
Another cause of barrenness is thick growth of leaves. 

XLVIII. Some trees producing fruit bear it both Positionof 
on the sides and at the end of their branches, for{^g*'^'^ 
instance the pear, the pomegranate, the fig and the 
myrtle. In other respects they have the same nature 
as cereal plants, for in their case also the ear grows 
at the tip of the stalks, whereas beans grow on the 
sides. The palm-tree alone, as has been stated, xiii. 30. 
has its fruit, enclosed in spathes, hanging down in 
bunches. 

XLIX. The remaining trees have their fruit under- Frnit 
neath their leaves for its protection, except the fig, }oiiwge. ^^ 
the leaf of which is very large and gives a great deal 
of shade, and because of this the fruit hangs above 
the leaves. The fig is also the only tree whose leaf 
forms later than the fruit. A remarkable thing 
reported in the case of a certain kind of fig-tree 
found in Cihcia and C\^rus and on tlie mainland of 
Greece is that the figs grow undemeath the leaves, 

461 



PLINY : NATURAL HISTORY 

vero post folium nasci. ficus et praecoces habet 
quas Athenis prodromos vocant, in Laconico genere 
maxime. 

114 Sunt et biferae in isdem ; (L.) in Coo insula capri- 
fici trifcrae sunt : prirao fetu sequens evocatur, 
sequenti tertius. hoc fici caprificantur. et caprifici 
autem ab adversis foliis nascuntur. biferae et in 
malis ac piris quaedam, sicut et praecoces. malus 
silvestris bifera : sequens eius fructus post arcturum, 

115 in apricis maxime. vites quidem et triferae sunt, 
quas ob id insanas vocant, quoniam in his alia 
maturescunt, alia turgescunt, aUa florent. M. Varro 
auctor est vitem fuisse Zmyrnae apud Matroon tri- 
feram et malum in agro Consentino. hoc autem 
evenit perpetuo in Tacapensi ^ Africae agro (de quo 
plura alias), ea est soli fertiUtas. trifera est et 
cupressus ; namque bacae eius coUiguntur mense 
lanuario et Maio et Septembri, ternasque earum 
gerit magnitudines. 

116 Est vero et in ipsis arboribus etiam onustis pecu- 
Uaris differentia : summa sui parte fertiUores arbutus, 
quercus, inferiore iuglandis, fici mariscae. omnis quo 

1 Brotier coll. xviil 188 : Venesi. 
462 



BOOK XVI. xLix. 113-L. 116 

but the abortive fruit that does not mature forms 
after the leaves have grown. The fig-tree also pro- 
duces an early crop of fruit, called at Athens ' fore- 
runners,' especially in the Spartan variety. 

In the same class of fruit-trees there are some noubic 
that bear two crops, (L.) and on the island of Cos the ^"^^^^- 
wild figs bear three, the first ehciting a following 
crop and the foUowing crop a third one. It is this 
last crop that is used in the process of caprification. xv. 8I. 
But in the wild fig also the fruit grows at the back of 
the leaves. Among the apples and the pears there 
are some that bear two crops a year, as also there 
are some early varieties. The wild apple bears twice, 
its second crop coming after the rising of Arcturus, 
especially in sunny locaUties. There are indeed 
vines that actually bear three crops, which con- 
sequently people call ' mad vines,' because on these 
some grapes are ripening while others are just 
beginning to swell and other bunches are only in 
flower. Marcus Varro states that there once was a R-R- 1. 7, 6. 
vine at the temple of the Mother of the Gods in 
Smyrna that bore three times a year, and an apple 
tree in the district of Cosenza that did the same. 
But this regularly occurs in the district of Tacupe 
in Africa (about which we shall say more in another xviii. I86. 
place), such is the fertihty of the soil. The cypress 
also bears three times, for its berries are gathered in 
January, May and September, and those of each 
crop are of a different size. 

But also in the trees themselves, even when laden other 
with fruit, there is a diiference between different J^^^Jf/nyf 
kinds : the arbutus and the oak bear more fruit in 
their upper part and the walnut and the marisca fig 
on their lower branches. All trees bear earUer the 

463 



PLINY : NATURAL HISTORY 

magis senescunt hoc maturius ferunt, et in apricis 
locis nec pingui terra; silvestria^ omnia tardiora : 
quaedam ex his omnino nec maturescunt. item quae 
subarantur aut quae ablaqueantur celeriora neglectis ; 
haec et fertiliora. 

117 LI. Alia 2 etiamnum aetatis differentia. amygdala 
enim et pirus in senecta fertihssimae ut et glandiferae 
et quoddam genus ficorum, ceterae in iuventa tardi- 
usque maturantes, quod maxime notatur in vitibus ; 
vetustioribus enim vinum meUus, novellis copiosius. 
celerrime vero senescit et in senecta deteriorem 
fructum gignit malus ; namque et minora poma 
proveniunt et vermiculis obnoxia, qui ^ et in ipsa 

118 arbore nascuntur. ficus sola ex omnium arborum 
fetu maturitatis causa medicatur, iam quidem ex 
portentis quoniam maiora sunt pretia praeposteris. 
omnia autem celerius senescunt praefecunda; quin 
et protinus moriuntur aUqua caelo fecunditatem 
omnem eblandito, quod maxime vitibus evenit. 

119 contra morus tardissime senescit, fructu minime 
laborans; tarde et ea quorum crispa materies, ut 
palma, acer, populus. et subarata ocius senescunt, 
silvestria autem tardissime. ideo et praeflorent taha 

^ Pintianus : silvestriora. 

2 Alia vel Mira Mayhoff, Est edd. : om. codd. 

3 qui? Mayhoff : quin. 



" The reference is to vegetable manure, not to caprification, 
XV. 73. 



464 



BOOK XVI. L. 116-L1. 119 

older they grow, and bear earlier in sunny places and 
on a thin soil ; all wild trees are later, some of them 
never ripening their fruit at all. Similarly trees that 
have the earth underneath them ploughed or 
broken up ripen their fruit quicker than ones that 
are not attended to ; those so treated also bear 
larger crops. 

LI. Moreoverthereisanotherdifference,connected Vanetics 
with age. Almond-trees and pears have the largest oprces^^ 
crops in their old age, as also do the acorn-bearing 
trees and one kind of fig, but all the other fruit- 
trees when young and when ripening more slowly ; 
and this is especially noticeable in the case of \T.nes, 
for the older vines make better wine and the young 
ones give a larger quantity. The apple however 
grows okl very quickly and in its old age bears in- 
ferior fruit, as the apples it produces are smaller 
and Uable to be worm-eaten, the worms being also 
generated on the tree itself. The fig is the only 
one of all the trees grown that is given a drug " to 
assist its ripening — truly a portentous thing, that 
greater prices are paid for fruit out of season ! 
But all fruit-trees that bear their fruit before the 
proper time grow old prematurely ; indeed some die 
at once when the weather has lured them to surrender 
their whole stock of fertiUty, a thing that happens 
most of all to vines. The mulberry, on the other 
hand, grows old very slowly, being very Uttle ex- 
haustedby its crop ; and also the trees whose timber 
has wrinkled markings age slowly, for instance the 
palm, thc maple and thc poplar. Also trees grow 
old more quickly when the earth under them is 
ploughed, whereas forcst trees age very slowly. 
Consequently trees carefully tended blossom earlier 

465 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

et praegerminant, in toturn ^ praecocia fmnt, atque 
in totum omnis cura fertilitatem adicit, fertilitas 
senectam ^ quoniam omnis infirmitas caelo magis 
oboedit. 

120 LII. Multae plura gi^nunt, ut diximus in glandi- 
feris ; intcr quas laurus uvas suas, maximeque sterilis 
quae non gignit aliud ; ob id a quibusdam mas existi- 
matur, ferunt et abellanae iulos conpactili callo, ad 
nihii utiles ; plurima vero ilices,^ nam et semen suum 
et granum quod crataegum vocant, et a septentrione 
viscum, a meridie hyphear, de quis plura mox paulo. 
interdumque pariter res quaternas habent. 

121 LIII. Arbores quaedam simplices, quibus a radice 
caudex unus et rami frequentes, ut oUvae, fico, viti ; 
quaedam fruticosi generis, ut pahurus, myrtus, item 
nux abellana, quin immo melior et copiosior fructu in 
plures dispersa ramos. hi quibusdam omnino nulli, 

122 ut in sato * genere buxo, loto transmarinae. quae- 
dam bifurcae atque etiam in quinas partes diffusae, 
quaedam dividuae nec ramosae, ut sabuci, quaedam 
individuae, ramosae, ut piceae. quibusdam ramorum 
ordo, sicut piceae, abieti, alias inconditus, ut robori, 
malo, piro. et abieti quidem subrecta divisura 

^ in totum Mayhojf : totum aut tota. 

^ atque . . . senectam hic Rackham : swpra ante ideo. 

^ Mayhoff {i\ex Pirdianus e Theophr.): buxiis (buxus edd.). 

* Mayhoff: suo. 



" The passage is hardly intelligible as it stands, and if the 
text is not corrupt, it may be conjectured that Phny did not 
understand his authority. 

^ The MSS. give ' the box-tree.' 

^ Crataegus is normally the Greek for a thorn-bush. 

466 



BOOK XVI. Li. 119-L111. 122 

and bud earlier, and are in advance of the season 
generally ; and in general all attention adds fertility, 
while fertihty advances old age, because every 
weakness is rendered more subject to the wcather. 

LII. Many trees grow several products, as we said othrr 
in the case of acorn-bearing trees. Among them, the besfdefruit. 
laurel bears its own grapes," and especially the barren §§ 2g 11. 
laurel, which produces notliing else, and which is 
consequently thought by some people to be the 
male tree. Hazels also bear catkins of a hard, com- 
pact shape, which are of no use for any purpose ; 
but the holm-oak ^ produces the greatest number 
of things, for it grows both its own seed and the grain 
called crataegus,^ and mistletoe grows on the north 
side of the tree and hyphear on the south side — we 
shall say more about these a Uttle later — and oc- § ^^°- 
casionally the trees have all four of these things 
together. 

LIIl. Some trees are of simple shape, having one ^"52***"=^ 
stem rising from the root and a numbcr of branches, trees. 
as the oUve, fig and vine ; some belong to the bushy 
class, as the Christ's thorn and the myrtle, and 
also the hazel — in fact this bears better and more 
abundant nuts when it spreads out into many 
branches. Some trees have no branches at all, for 
instance the box of the cultivated variety and the 
foreign lotus. Some trees are forked, and even 
branch out into five parts, some divide the trunk 
but have no branches, as is the case with the elder, 
and some are undivided and have branches, hke the 
pitch-pines. Some have their branches in a regular 
order, for instance the pitch-pine, the fir, with 
others their arrangement is irregular, as with the oak, 
apple and pear. Also in the case of the fir the 

467 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

ramique in caelum tendentes, non in latera proni. 

123 mirum, cacuminibus corimi decisis moritur, totis 
vero detruncatis durat; et si infra quam rami fuere 
praecidatur, quod superest vivit, si vero cacumen 
tantum auferatur, tota moritur. aliae ab radice 
bracchiatae, ut ulmus, aliae in cacumine ramosae,^ 
ut pinus, faba Graeca, quam Romae a suavitate 
fructus, silvestris quidem sed cerasorum paene natura, 

124 loton appellant. praecipue domibus expetitur ra- 
morum petulantia brevi caudice latissima expa- 
tiantium umbra et in vicinas doraos saepe transi- 
lientium. nulla opacitas bre^ior, nec auferunt 
rami ^ solem hieme decidentibus foUis. nullis cortex 
iucundior aut oculos excipiens blandius, nullis rami 
longiores vaUdioresque aut plures, ut dixisse totidem 
arbores Hceat. cortice pelles tingunt, radice lanas. 
malis proprium genus : ferarum enim rostra reddunt 
adhaerentibus uni maximo minoribus. 

125 LIV. Ramorum aliqiii caeci, qui non germinant, 
quod natura fit si non evaluere, aut poena cum depu- 
tatos cicatrix hebetavit. quae dividuis in ramo natura 
est haec viti in oculo, harundini in geniculo. omnium 

^ Rackham : alia . . . bracchiata . . , alia . . . ramosa. 
2 rami add. Mayhoff. 



" The Italian persimmon; tho identification with faha 
Oraeca (the date-plum) is a mistake. 



468 



BOOK XVI. Liii. I22-LIV. 125 

branching is nearly vertical and the boughs project 
upward towards tlie sky, and do not slope down 
sideways. It is a remarkable thing that tliis tree 
dies if the tops of the branches are lopped, but survives 
if they are cut oif entirely from the trunk ; also should 
the trunk be cut off below where the branches were, 
what remains lives, whereas if only the top be re- 
moved the whole tree dies. Some trees branch out 
from the root up, like the elm, others throw out boughs 
only at the top, hke the pine and the Greek bean- 
tree, Avhich at Rome tliey call the lotus " because of 
the sweetness of its fruit, which although growing 
wild almost resembles cherries. The exuberance of 
its branches makes it specially in request for houses, 
as they grow on a short main stem and spread out 
with a very wide expanse of shade, often leaping 
across to the neighbouring mansions. No shady 
fohage is more short-Uved, and the branches do not 
take away the sun, their leaves falUng in winter. 
No trees have bark that is more agreeable or attrac- 
tive to look at, and none have branches that are 
longer and stouter or more numerous, so that they 
might be described as being themselves so many 
trees. Their bark serves for staining hides and their 
root for dyeing w'ool. Apple trees have branches of 
a pecuUar kind, resembUng the muzzles of wild 
animals, several smaller boughs being attached to one 
very large one. 

LIV. Some branches are without eyes and do not VarieHes o/ 
form buds, this being a natural consequence of their ^"'"''^*- 
not having fuUy developed, or else a penalty when a 
scar inflicted in pruning has blunted their powers. 
In a vine the eye and in a reed the joint contain the 
same nature that trees which spread out have in their 

469 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

terrae proxima crassiora. iri longitudinem excrescunt 
abies, larix, palma, cupressus, ulmus et si qua uni- 
stirpia. ramosarum cerasus etiam in xl cubitorum 
trabes aequali per totam duum cubitorum crassi- 
tudine reperitur. quaedam statim in ramos spar- 
guntur, ut mali. 

126 LV. Cortex aliis tenuis, ut lauro, tiliae, aliis cras- 
sus, ut robori, aliis levis, ut malo, fico, idem scaber 
robori, palmae, omnibus in senecta rugosior. qui- 
busdam rumpitur sponte, ut viti, quibusdam etiam 
cadit, ut malo, unedoni. carnosus suberi, populo, 
membranaceus viti, harundini, libris similis ceraso, 
multiplex tunicis vitibus, tiliae, abieti, quibusdara 
simplex, ut fico, harundini. 

127 LVI. Magna et radicum differentia : copiosae fico, 
robori, platano, breves et angustae malo, singulares 
abieti, larici ; singulis enim innituntur, quamquam 
minutis in latera dispersis. crassiores lauro et 
ina.equales, item oleae, cui et ramosae ; at robori 
carnosae. robora suas in profundum agunt : si 
Vergilio quidem credimus, aesculus quantum corpore 

128 eminet tantum radice descendit. oleae malisque et 

470 



BOOK XVI. Liv. 125-LVI. 128 

branch. \\ ith ail trees the parts nearest the ground 
are thicker. The fir, the larch, the palm, the 
cj^ress, the elm and all the trees with a single trunk 
make their growth in the direction of height. 
Among the branching trees the charry is found 
making timbers as much as 20 yards long and a yard 
thick for the whole length. Some trees spread out 
into branches at once, for example apples. 

LV. The bark of some trees is thin, as in the Varietiisof 
lam-el and the Hme, that of others thick, as in the oak ; '"^*' 
in some it is smooth, as in the apple and the fig, 
but it is rough in the oak and the palm, and in all 
trees it becomes more wrinkled in old age. With 
certain trees, for instance the vine, it bursts of its 
own accord, while certain others actually shed their 
bark, for instance the apple and the arbutus. The 
bark of the cork-tree and the poplar is fleshy, that 
of the vine and the reed is Uke a skin ; in the cherry 
it resembles the layers of the papyrus ; the skin of 
the vine, the Hme and the fir consists of a number 
of coats, but in some cases it is a single layer, for 
instance in the fig and the reed. 

LVI. There is also a great diflterence in the roots of Vanetiesof 
trees : those of the fig, the hard-oak and the plane a^'ZX'' 
are abundant, those of the apple short and thin, 
those of the fir and larch single, as these trees are 
supported by a single root, although it throws out 
small fibres laterally. The roots of the laurel are 
rather thick and of uneven shape, and the same with 
the ohve, the roots of which also form branches, but 
those of the hard-oak are fleshy. Hard-oaks drive 
their roots down deep, indeed the winter oak, at all 
events if we beheve ^^irgil, goes down as deep with Oeorff.n. 
its root as it projects upward with its trunk. The 

471 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

cupressis serpunt ^ per summa caespitum, aliis recto 
meatu, ut lauro, oleae, aliis flexuoso, ut fico. minutis 
haec capillamentis hirsuta, ut^ et abies multaeque 
silvestrium, e quibus montani praetenuia fila decer- 
pentes spectabiles lagoenas et alia vasa nectunt. 

129 quidam non altius descendere radices quam solis 
calor tepefaciat idque natura loci ^ tenuioris crassive * 
dixere ; quod falsum arbitror : apud auctores certe 
invenitur, abietis planta cum transferretur, octo 
cubitorum altitudine ^ nec totam refossam sed 
abruptam. maxima spatio atque plenitudine citri 

130 est, ab ea platani, roboris et glandiferarum. quarun- 
dam radix vivacior superficie, ut laurus ; itaque cum 
trunco inaruit, recisa etiam laetius fruticat. quidam 
brevitate radicum celerius senescere arbores putant, 
quod coarguunt fici, quarum radices longissimae et 
senectus ocissima. falsum arbitror et quod aUqui 
prodidere, radices arborum vetustate minui; visa 
enim est annosa quercus eversa tempestatis vi 
iugerum soU amplexa. 

131 LVII. Prostratas restitui plerumque et quadam 
terrae cicatrice revivescere ® volgare est. famiUaris- 

1 serpunt add. ? Mayhoff. 

2 ut add. ? Mayhoff. 
^ soli ? Rackham. 

* crassiorisve Gelen. 

^ altitudine ? Mayhoff : in altitudinem. 

•* Rackham : vivescere. 

472 



BOOK XVI. Lvi. 128 Lvii. 131 

olivc and cipplc and cyprcsses spread their roots 
through the top layer of the turf, in some cases 
shooting straight out, as with the laurel and oHve, 
and in other cascs winding about, as with thc fig. 
This tree bristles with fine filaments, as also do the 
fir and a nimiber of forest trees, from which the 
mountain people pluck extremely thin threads and 
plait them into handsome flasks and other vessels. 
Some people have stated that the roots of trees do 
not go down deeper than the warmth of the sun's 
heat can reach, and this according to the nature of 
the soil, whethcr rather thin or hcavy ; but I think 
that this is incorrect, as it is certainly found in the 
authorities that when a fir-tree was transplanted it 
measured four yards in depth, though it had not been 
dug up whole but had been broken off. The root 
of the citrus-wood tree is the largest in extent and 
abundance, and next to it those of the plane, the hard- 
oak and the acorn-bearing trees. Some trees have a 
root that is more tenacious of Ufe than the part 
above ground, for instance the laurei ; and accord- 
ingly, when it has withered in the trunk, if it is cut 
back it shoots again even more vigorously. Some 
people think that trees grow old more quickly owing 
to naving short roots, but this is disproved by fig- 
trees, which have very long roots and grow old very 
quickly. I also consider false a statement that has 
been made by sorae persons, to the effect that the 
roots of trees become smaller with age, for an aged 
oak when overturned by a violent storm has been 
scen to embrace a Roman acre of ground. 

LVII. It is a common occurrence for fallen trees faff^ or 
often to be replaced and to come back to hfe again ^SJ^'"*^* 
owing to the earth forming a sort of scab over the again. 

VOL. TV. Q '^^•^ 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

simiim hoc platanis, quae plurimum ventorum con- 
cipiunt propter densitatem ramorum, quibus ampu- 
tatis levato onere in suo scrobe reponuntur; 
factumque iam est hoc et in iuglandibus oleisque ac 

132 multis aliis. est in exemplis et sine tempestate 
ullave causa alia quam prodigii cecidisse multas ac 
sua sponte resurrexisse. factum hoc popuH Romani 
Quiritibus ostentum Cimbricis bellis Nuceriae in 
hico lunonis ulmo, postquam etiam cacumen ampu- 
tatum erat quoniam in aram ipsam procumbebat, 
restituta sponte ita ut protinus floreret, a quo deinde 
tempore maiestas p. R. resurrexit quae ante vastata 

133 cladibus fuerat. memoratur hoc idem factum et ^ 
Phihppis saUce procidua atque detruncata, et Stagiris 
in museo populo alba, omnia fausti ominis. sed 
maxime mirum, Antandri platanus etiam circumdo- 
latis lateribus restibilis sponte facta vitaeque reddita 
longitudine xv cubitorum, crassitudine quattuor 
ulnarum. 

134 LVIII. Arbores quas naturae debcamus tribus 
modis nascuntur, sponte aut semine aut ab radice. 
cura numerosior extitit, de qua suo dicemus volumine ; 
nunc enim totus sermo de natura est multis modis 

1 Rackham : et in. 

• Pliny seems to use ulna of a vertical length equal to 
cubitum horizontally, 18 inches. 

474 



BOOK XVl. Lvii. 131-LV111. 134 

woiind. This is most common with plane trees, 
which hold a very large quantity of wind because of 
the density of their branches, which are lopped to 
reheve the trees of the weight and the trees are then 
replanted in their own hole ; and this has before now 
also been done in the case of Malnuts and oHves and 
a number of other trees. There are also many cases 
of trees having fallen even without a storm or any 
other cause except one of a miraculous nature and 
having risen up again of their own accord. This 
portent occurred to the citizens of the Roraan 113-101 
nation during the Cimbrian wars in the case of an ^'^' 
elm in the grove of Juno at Nocera, actually after its 
top had been lopped off because it was leaning 
forward right on to the altar ; the tree was restored 
of its own accord so completely that it at once 
flowercd, and from that date onward the majesty of 
the Roman people recovered, after having previously 
been ravaged by disasters in war. It is recorded 
that this also happened at Phihppi with a willow 
that had fallen down and had been severed from its 
trunk, and at Stagira with a white poplar in the shrine 
of the Muses, all of these occurrences being of good 
omen. But most wonderful of all, a plane-tree at 
Antandros recovered of its own accord and was 
restored to hfe even after its sides liad been rough- 
hewn all round, a tree 22J feet high and 6 feet" 
thick. 

LVIII. Those trees which we owe to Nature grow Propamtiox 
in three ways, spontaneously or by seed or from a root. ''■' ''"^**- 
More numerous artificial methods have come into 
existence, about which we shall speak in the volume xvii. 58. 
given to the subject; for at the present our whole 
discourse is about Nature, so memorable for her 

475 



PLINY : NATURAL HISTORY 

mirisque memorabili. namque non omnia in omnibus 
locis nasci docuimus, nec tralata vivere ; hoc alias 
fastidio, alias contumacia, saepius inbecillitate eorum 
quae transferantur evenit, alias caelo invidente, 
alias solo repugnante. 

135 LIX. Fastidit balsamum alibi nasci,i nata Assyria 
malus alibi ferre, nec non et palma ubique nasci aut 
nata parere vel, cimi promisit etiam ostenditque, 
cducare, tamquam invita pepererit. non habet vires 
frutex cinnami in Syriae vicina perveniendi. non 
ferunt amomi nardique deliciae ne in Arabiam 
quidem ex India et nave peregrinari ; temptavit enim 

136 Seleucus rex. illud maxime mirum, ipsas plerumque 
arbores exorari ut vivant atque tramigrent, aliquando 
et a solo impetrari ut aUenas alat advenasque nutriat, 
caehim nuUo modo flecti. vivit in Itaha piperis 
arbor, casiae vero etiam in septentrionah plaga, vixit 
in Lydia turis, sed unde sorbentes sucum omnem ex 

137 his soles coquentesve hicrimam ? illud proxime 
mirum, mutari naturam in iisdem locis ^ atque pro 
indiviso valere. cedrum aestuosis partibus dederat, 
set ^ in Lyciis Phrygiisque montibus nascitur. frigus 

' nasci (nisi in ludaea) Bostock and Riley. 
' locis om. v.l. 
'■^ IJayhoff: et. 



" Bostock and Riley assiime that the words ' than in 
Judea ' have fallen out. 

* Literally ' at an undivided rato.' 

476 



BOOK XVl. Lviir. 134-Lix, 137 

manifold and iiiarvellous methods. In facl, we liave Transpiant- 
shown that iiot all trees will grow in all places, or /r!^ t^fuHr^'^' 
live if removed from one place to another ; this is f'<^^^- 
due in some cases to antipathy, in others to obstinacy, 
more frequently to the weakness of the specimens 
transplanted, because in some cases the cHmate is 
unfavourable and in others the soil is incompatible. 

LIX. Bahii of Gilead disdains to grow elsewhere,'* 
and a citron grown in Assyria will not bear else- 
where ; and Ukewise the palm also will not grow every- 
where or, even if it does grow, bear fruit, or else even 
when it has made a pi-omise and a show of bearing, 
refuses to mature the fruit, seeming to have given birth 
to it against its will. The cinnamon shrub has not 
the strength to travel to the neighbourhood of Syria. 
The dehcate perfumes of amomum and nard cannot 
endure to travel out of India and be conveyed by sea 
even as far as Arabia — an attempt to import them 
was made by King Seleucus. What is most surprising 
is that although the trees themselves can usually be 
persuaded to Uve and to bear transplantation, and 
occasionally even the soil will grant the request to 
nourish foreigners and give food to immigrants, 
the cUmate is absolutely unrelenting. The pepper- 
tree wiU Uve in Italy, and the casia-plant even in a 
northern region, and the incense-tree has been 
known to Uve in Lydia, but where are we to get the 
sunshine that sucks aU the juice out of these plants 
or ripens the drops of essence that they shed ? 
It is nearly as surprising that Nature may alter in 
the same locaUties and yet retain a hundred per 
cent * of her vigour. She had bestowed the cedar 
on the regions of torrid heat, but it grows in the 
mountains of Lycia and Phrygia. She had made cold 

477 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

inimicum lauro fecerat, sed in Olympo copiosior nulla 
est. circa Bosporum Cimmerium in Panticapaeo 
urbe omni modo laborabit Mithridates rex et ceteri 
incolae sacrorum certe causa laurum myrtumque 
habere : non contigit, cum teporis arbores abundent 
ibi, punicae ficique, iam mali et piri laudatissimae. 

138 frigidas eodem tractu non genuit arbores, pinum, 
abietem, piceam. et quid attinet in Pontum abire ? 
iuxta Romam ipsam castaneae cerasique aegre 
proveniunt, persica in Tusculano, nuces ^ Graecae 
cum taedio inseruntur Tarracina silvis scatente 
earum. 

139 LX. Cupressus advena et difficillime nascentium 
fuit, ut de qua verbosius saepiusque quam de 
omnibus aliis prodiderit Cato, satu morosa, fructu 
supervacua, bacis torva, folio amara, odore violenta 
ac ne umbra quidem gratiosa, materie rara, ut 
paene fruticosi generis, Diti sacra et ideo funebri 

140 signo ad domos posita. femina <(fert semen, mas) ^ 

steriUs. diu metae demum aspectu non repudiata 

distinguendis tantum vinearum ordinibus, nunc vero 

tonsilis facta in densitatem ^ parietum coercitaque 

gracilitate perpetuo teres * trahitur etiam in picturas 

operis topiarii, venatus classesve et imagines rerum 

^ Mayhojf : Tusculano non nuces. 

2 Mayhojf. 

^ Mayhoff : densitate. 

* Salmasius : tere aut terra aut tenera. 



« R.R. XLVIII, CLI. 

* MSS. ' The female is sterile ' ; Mayhoff, comparing XVII. 
73, raarks a lacuna, and from § 247 conjectures the above 
tnsertion. 

478 



BOOK XVI. Lix. 137-LX. 140 

uiifricndly to the laurel, but 110 tree is more frequent 
on Mount Olympus. In thc city of Kertch in the 
neighbourhood of the Cimmerian Bosphorus, King 
Mithridates and the rest of the natives had toiled in 
every way to have the laurel and the myrtle, at all 
events for ritual purposes, but they did not succeed, 
although trees belonging to a mild chmate abound 
there, pomegranates and figs, as vvell as apples and 
pears that win the highest praise. In the same 
region Nature has not produced the trees that belong 
to cold cUmates — pine, fir and pitch-pine. And what 
is the point of our going abroad to the Black Sea ? 
In the actual neighbourhood of Rome chestnuts and 
cherries only grow with reluctance, and the peach- 
tree round Tusculum, and almonds are laboriously 
grown from graft, although Tarracina teems with 
whole woods of them. 

LX. The cypress is an exotic, and has been one Naturaus- 
of the most difficult trees to rear, seeing that Cato " %^essf^ 
has written about it at greater length and more useinfaTicy 
often than about all the other trees, as stubborn to ^^' 
grow, of no use for fruit, with berries that cause a 
wry face, a bitter leaf, and a pungent smell : not 
even its shade agreeable and its timber scanty, so 
that it ahnost belongs to the class of shrubs ; con- 
secrated to Dis, and consequently placed at the doors 
of houses as a sign of mourning. The female bears 
seed but the male is sterile.'' For a long time past 
merely owing to its pyramidal appearance it was not 
rejected just for the purpose of marking the rows in 
vineyards, but nowadays it is cHpped and made into 
thick walls or evenly rounded off with trim slenderness, 
and it is even made to provide the representations 
of the landscape gardener's work, arraying hunting 

479 



PLINY: NATURAL IIISTORY 

tenui folio brevique ct vircnte semper vestiens. 

141 duo genera earum : mcta in fastigium convoluta, 
quae et femina appellatur ; mas spargit extra se 
ramos deputaturque et accipit vitem. utraque 
autem immittitur in perticas asseresve amputatione 
ramorum, qui xiii anno denariis singulis veneunt, 
quaestuosissima in satus ratione silva; vulgoque 
dotem filiae antiqui plantaria ea appellabant. huic 
patria insula Creta, quamquam Cato Tarentinam eam 
appellat, credo, quod primum eo venerit. et in 

142 Aenaria succisa regerminat ; sed in Creta quocumque 
in loco terram moverit quispiam, nisu ^ naturali haee 
gignitur protinusque emicat, illa vero etiam non 
appellato solo ac sponte, maximeque in Idaeis 
montibus et quos Albos vocant summisque in iis ^ 
unde numquam nives absunt plurima, quod miremur, 
ahbi non nisi in tepore proveniens et nivem magno 
opere fastidiens. 

143 LXI. Nec terrae tantum natura circa has refert 
aut pei^petua caeh, verum et quaedam temporaria 
vis : imbres aliqua^ plerumque semina adferunt, et 
certo fluunt genere, aliquando etiam incognito, quod 
accidit Cyrenaicae regioni, cum primum ibi laserpi- 

^ Salmasius : nisi. 

- Rackfuim : his. 

" Mayhojf : imbrium aquae awi a/ia. 

480 



BOOK XVI. Lx. 140 Lxi. 143 

scenes or fleets of ships and imitations of real objects 

with its narrow, short, evergreen leaf. There are 

two kinds of cypress : the pyramid, tapering upward ey/!m]f* 

in a spiral, which is also called the female cypress, and 

the male cypress which spreads its branches outward 

from itself, and is pruncd and used as a prop for a vine. 

Both the male and the female are allowed to grow 

up so as by having thcir branches lopped ofF to form 

poles or props, which after twelve years' growth sell 

for a denarius apiece, a grove of cypresses being a 

most profitable item in one's plantation account ; 

and people in old days used commonly to call cypress 

nurseries a dowry for a daughter. The native country 

of this tree is the island of Crete, although Cato calls 

it Taranto cypress, no doubt because that place was R-R-CLi. 

where it was first imported. In the island of Ischia 

also, if cut down, it will shoot up again ; but in Crete 

this tree is produced by spontaneous generation 

wherever anybody stirs the earth, and shoots out 

at once, in this case in fact even without any demand 

being made of the soil and of its own accord, and 

especially in the mountains of Ida and those called 

the White Mountains, and in the greatest number on 

the very summits of the peaks that are never free 

from snow, which may well surprise us, as the tree 

does not occur elsewhere except in a warm chmate 

and has a great dishke for snow. 

LXI. Nor is only the nature of the soil important Trees sovm 
in relation to these trees, or the permanent character "^ " ^' 
of the weather, but also a certain temporary influence 
that it exerts : show ers of rain usually bring with them 
certain seeds, and seeds of a certain kind stream 
down, occasionally even some of an unknown kind, 
which happened in the district of Cyrenaica, when 

481 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

cium natum est, ut in herbarum natura dicemus. 
nata est et silva urbi ei proxima imbre piceo crassoque. 

144 LXII. Hedera iam dicitur in Asia nasci. circi- 
ter urbis Romae annum ccccxxxx ^ negaverat 
Theophrastus, nec in India nisi in monte Mero, 
quin et Harpalum omni modo laborasse ut sereret 
eam in Medis frustra, Alexandrum vero ob raritatem 
ita coronato exercitu victorem ex India redisse 
exemplo Liberi patris ; cuius dei et nunc adornat 
thyrsos galeasque etiam ac scuta in Thraciae popuHs 
sollemnibus sacris, inimica arboribus satisque omni- 
bus, sepulchra, muros rumpens, serpentium frigori 
gratissima, ut mirum sit uUum honorem habitum ei. 

145 Duo genera prima ut reUquarum, mas atque 
femina. maior traditur mas et corpore et foho, 
duriore etiam ac pinguiore ut et ^ flore ad purpuram 
accedente ; utriusque autem simihs est rosae silvestri, 
nisi quod caret odore. species horum generum tres ; 
est enim candida aut nigra hedera, tertiaque vocatur 

146 heUx. etiamnum hae species dividuntur in aUas, 
quoniam est aUqua fructu tantum candida, aUa et 
foUo; fructum quoque candidum ferentium aUis 
densus acinus et grandior, racemis in orbem circum- 
actis qui vocantur corymbi, iidem Silenici cum est 
minor acinus, sparsior racemus — ut^ simiU modo in 

^ circiter etc. hic {addito x) Urlichs : ante Hedera codd. 

^ ut et ? Mayhoff : set aut et. 

^ ut add. hic Rackham, post modo Mayhqff. 

482 



BOOK XVI. Lxi. 143-LX11. 146 

laser first grew therc, as we shall say in the section 
deahng with herbaceuus plants. Also near that xix. 41. 
city a shower of thick, pitchy rain caused a wood to 
grow up. 

LXII. It is said that ivy now grows in Asia/ry, «5 
Minor. Theophrastus about 314 b.c. had stated that '^»^'"^"'*'^- 
it did not grow there, nor yet in India except on 
Mount Meros, and indeed that Harpalus had used 
every effort to grow it in Media without success, while 
Alexander had come back victorious from India with 
his army wearing wreaths of ivy, because of its 
rarity, in imitation of Father Liber ; and it is even 
now used at solemn festivals among the peoples of 
Thrace to decorate the wands of that god, and also the 
worshippers' helmets and shields, although it is 
injurious to all trees and plants and destructive to 
tombs and walls, and very agreeable to chilly snakes, 
so that it is surprising that any honour has been 
paid to it. 

There are two primary kinds of ivy, as of the rest y^^fties 
of the plants, the male and the female. The male *^' 
is said to have the larger stem and leaf, Mhich also 
are harder and have more sap, and so it also has a 
larger flower, approaching purple in colour ; but the 
flower of both male and female resembles the wild 
rose, except that it has no scent. These kinds each 
comprise three species, for ivy is white or black and a 
third species is called heUx. Moreover these species 
divide into others, since one kind only has white 
fruit but another has a white leaf as well ; also in 
some of those bearing white fruit the berry is closely 
packed and rather large, hanging in round bunches 
which are called ' clusters,' and also Silenici when the 
berry is smaller and the bunch less compact — as 

483 



PLINY : NATURAL HISTORY 

147 nigra. alicui et scmen nigrum, alii crocatum, cuius 
coronis poetae utuntur, foliis minus nigris, quam 
quidam Nysiam, alii Bacchicam vocant, maximis 
inter nigras corymbis. quidam apud Graecos etiam- 
num duo genera huius faciunt a colore acinorum, 
erythranum et chrysocai*pum. 

148 Plurumas autem habet differentias hehx, quoniam 
foHo maxime distat. parva sunt et angulosa con- 
cinnioraque, cum rehquorum generum simpHcia sint. 
distat et longitudine internodiorum, praecipue tamen 
steriUtate, quoniam fructum non gignit. quidam 
hoc aetatis esse, non generis existimant, primoque 

149 hehcem esse, fieri hederam vetustate. horum error 
manifestus intellegitur, quoniam hehcis plura genera 
reperiuntur, sed tria maxime insignia : herbacea ac 
virens quae plurima est, altera candido foho, tertia 
versicolori, quae Thracia vocatur. etiamnum herba- 
ceae tenuiora foha et in ordinem digesta densioraque, 

150 in aho genere diversa omnia; et in versicolori aha 
tenuioribus fohis et simiHter ordinatis densioribusque 
est, alteri generi neglecta haec omnia, maiora 
quoque aut minora sunt foha macularumque habitu 
distant ; et in candidis aha ahis ^ sunt candidiora. 

151 adulescit in longitudinem maxime herbacea; arbores 

* aliis add. Rackham. 
484 



BOOK XVI. Lxii. 146-151 

similarly occurs in the black variety. Alsn one kind 
has a black seed and anothcr a seed of the coloiir of 
saffron ; the latter ivy is used by poets for thcir 
wreaths, and its leaves are not so dark in colour; 
some people call it Nysian ivy and others Bacchic 
ivy, and it has the largest clusters of all the black 
ivies. Some people among the Grecks also make two 
classes of this variety, depending on the colour of the 
berries — red-berry ivy and golden-fruit ivy. 

But it is the heUx which has most varieties of all, Theheiix, 
as it differs very greatly in leaf. The leaves are small istics arut 
and angular and of a rather elegant shape, whereas ^'a'''*'»^*' 
those of the remaining kinds are plain and simple. 
It differs also in the distance between the joints, 
but particularly in its infertiUty, as it does not bear 
any fruit. Some people think that this is a matter 
of age and not of kind, and that the plant begins 
as a helix and becomes an ivy when it gets old. 
This is seen to be a clear mistake on their part, 
inasmuch as we find several more kinds of helix, but 
three that are most noticeable — the grass-green heUx 
which is the commonest, a second kind with a white 
leaf, and a third kind with a variegated leaf, which is 
called Thracian ivy. Moreover there is a grass-ivy 
with rather narrow and symmetricaUy arranged and 
rather thickly growing leaves, and in another variety 
aU these points are different ; also in the variegated 
ivy one variety has narrower leaves arranged in a 
similar way and clustering more thickly, and another 
variety entirely lacking these features, and also the 
lea,ves are either larger or smaUer, and diifer in the 
arrangeraent of their markings ; and in the white 
ivy in some cases the leaves are whiter than in others. 
The grass-green ivy grows the longest shoots ; but 

485 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

autem necat candida omnemque sucum auferendo 
tanta crassitudine augetur ut ipsa arbor fiat. signa 
eius folia maxima atque latissima, mammae rigentes ^ 
quae suntceteris inflexae, racemi stantes ac subrecti. 
et quamquam omni 2 hederarum generi radicosa 
bracchia, huic tamen maxime ramosa ac robusta, ab 

152 ea nigrae. sed proprium albae quod inter media 
foha emittit bracchia utrimque semper amplectens, 
hoc et in muris quamvis ambire non possit. itaque 
etiam pluribus locis intercisa vivit tamen duratque, 
et totidem initia radicimi habet quot bracchia, quibus 
incolumis et sohda arbores sugit ac strangulat. est 
et ^ in fructu differentia albae nigraeque hederae, 
quoniam ahis tanta amaritudo acini ut aves non attin- 
gant. est et rigens hedera quae sine adminiculo 
stat sola omnium generum, ob id vocata orthocissos, 
e diverso numquam nisi humi repens chamaecissos. 

153 LXIII. Simihs est hederae e Cihcia quidem pri- 
mum profecta sed in Graecia frequentior quam 
vocant smilacem, densis geniculata cauhbus, spinosis 
frutectosa ramis, foho hederaceo, parvo, non anguloso, 
a pediculo emittente pampinos, flore candido, olente 

154 hhum. fert racemos labruscae modo, non hederae, 
colore rubro, conplexa acinis maioribus nucleos 
ternos, minoribus singulos, nigros durosque, infausta 

^ mammae r. Mayhoff : mammas erigentes. 
* omni ? Mayhoff : omnium. 
^ et add. e Theophr. edd. 



<* A species of bind-weed. 



486 



BOOK XVI. Lxii. 151-Lxiir. 154 

it is the white ivy that kills trees, and by taking from 
them all their sap grows so thick a stalk as itself to 
become a tree. Its characteristics are very large, 
very broad leaves, fat stiff buds, which in the other 
kinds are bent, and clusters standing up erect ; and 
although in every kind of ivy the arms take root, 
yet this kind has the most spreading and powerful 
arms, those of the black ivy coming next. But it is a 
pecuUarity of the white ivy that it throws out arms 
among the middle of its leaves, with which it always 
embraces things on either side, this being the case 
even on walls, although it is unable to go round them. 
Consequently even though it is cut apart at several 
places nevertheless it Hves and lasts on, and it has 
as many points to strike root with as it has arms, 
which make it safe and solid while it sucks and 
strangles trees. There is also a difference in the 
fruit of the white and the black ivy, since in some 
cases it is so bitter that birds will not touch it. 
There is also a stiff ivy, which is the only kind that standing 
will stand without a prop, and which consequently '^"y»^. 
has the name in (jrreek ot straight ivy ; while on 
the other hand the one called in Greek * ground- 
ivy ' is never found except creeping on the ground. 

LXIII. Resembling ivy is the plant called smilax,*^ smiiax. 
which first came from Cilicia, but is now more 
common in Greece ; it has thick jointed stalks and 
thorny branches that make it a kind of shrub ; the 
leaf resembles that of the ivy, but is small and has 
no corners, and throws out tendrils from its stalk ; 
the flower is white and has the scent of a Hly. It bears 
clusters of berries Uke those of the \\\\d vine, not of the 
ivy ; they are red in colour, and the larger ones en- 
close three hard black stones but the smaUer a single 

487 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

omnibus sacris et coronis, quoniam sit lugubris 
virgine eius nominis propter amorem iuvenis Croci 

155 mutata in hunc fruticem. id volgus ignorans plerum- 
que festa sua polluit hederam existimando, sicut in 
poetis aut Libero patre aut Sileno, quis omnino scit ^ 
quibus coronentur ? 

E smilace fiunt codicilli ; propriumque materia est 
ut admota auribus lenem sonum reddat. hederae 
mira proditur natura ad experienda vina, si vas fiat e 
hgno eius, vina transfluere ac remanere aquam si qua 
fuerit mixta. 

156 LXIV. Inter ea quae frigidis gaudent et aqua- 
ticos frutices dixisse conveniat. principatum in his 
tenebunt harundines belh pacisque experimentis 
necessariae atque etiam dehciis gratae. tegulo 
earum domus suas septentrionales popuh operiunt, 
durantque aevis tecta taha ; et in rehquo vero orbe 

157 et camaras levissime suspendunt. chartisque ser- 
viunt calami, Aegyptii maxime cognatione quadam 
papyri ; probatiores tamen Cnidii et qui in Asia circa 
Anaeticum lacum nascuntur. nostratibus fungosior 
subest natura, cartilagine bibula quae cavo corpore 
intus, superne tenui inarescit hgno, fissihs praeacuta 

158 semper acie. geniculata cetero gracihtas nodisque 

^ Mayhoff : qui somno nescit. 



" Cato B.R. CXI. 

* I.e., recds are used for javelins and lishing-rods, pens, 
etc, and for wind inptruments. 

' The recd of which paper was made. 



BOOK X\'I. Lxiii. 154-LXIV. 158 

stone. This plant is unlucky to use at all sacred 
rites and for wrcaths, because it has a mournful 
association, a maiden named Smilax having been 
turned into a smilax shrub because of her love for 
a youth named Crocus. The common people not 
knowing this usually pollute their festivals with it 
because they think that it is ivy ; just as in the case 
of the poets or Father Liber or Silenus, who wear 
wreaths made of who in the world knows what ? 

Smilax is used for making tablets ; it is a pecu- 
harity of this wood to give out a slight sound when 
placed to one's ear. It is said that ivy has a remarkable 
property ^ for testing wines, inasmuch as a vessel made 
of its wood allows wine to pass through it, water that 
has been mixed with the wine stops in the vessel. 

LXIV. Among the plants that Uke cold conditions Water- 
it may also be proper to have the aquatic shrubs p^""*^- 
mentioned. The primacy among these will be held rherecd, 
by the reeds, which are indispensable for the practices andZtT 
of war and of peace and are also acceptable for our 
amusement.^ The northern peoples thatch their 
homes with reeds, and roofs of this kind last for 
ages, while in other parts of the world as well 
reeds also provide very light ccilings for rooms. 
And reeds serve as pens for writing on paper, 
especially Egyptian reeds owing to their kinship 
as it were with the papyrus ; *^ although the reeds 
of Cnidus and those that grow round the Anaetic 
lake in Asia are more esteemed. Those of our 
country have a more fungous substance underneath 
the surface, made of spongy cartilage which has a 
hollow structure inside and a thin, dry, woody 
surface, and easily breaks into splinters which always 
have an extremely sharp edge. For the rest it is 

489 



PLINY; NATURAL HISTORY 

distincta, leni fastigio tenuatur in cacumina crassiore 
paniculae coma, neque hac supervacua — aut enim 
pro pluma strata cauponarum replet aut, ubi ligno- 
siore ^ induruit callo sicut in Belgis, contusa et 
interiecta navium commissuris feruminat textus 
glutino tenacior rimisque explendis fidelior pice. 

159 LXV. Calamis orientis populi bella conficiunt, cala- 
mis mortem adcelerant pinna addita, calamis spicula 
addunt inrevocabili hamo noxia,^ fitque et ex ipso 
telum aliud fracto in vulneribus. his armis solem 
ipsum obumbrant ; propter hoc maxime serenos dies 
optant, odere ventos et imbres, qui inter illos pacem 

160 esse cogunt. ac si quis Aethiopas, Aegyptios,^ Arabas, 
Indos, Scythas, Bactros, Sarmatarum tot gentes et 
orientis omniaque Parthorum regna dihgentius 
conputet, aequa ferme pars hominum in toto mundo 

161 calamis superata degit. praecipuus hic usus in 
Creta bellatores suos nobiUtavit; sed in hoc quoque, 
ut ceteris in rebus, vicit Itaha, quando nullus sagittis 
aptior calamus quam in Rheno Bononiensi amne, cui 
plurima inest medulla pondusque volucre et contra 

^ Pintianus : limosiora. 

2 spicula . . . noxia hic Urlichs : ante mortem. 

' Rackham : Aegyptum. 



" l.e., the arrow. 
490 



BOOK XVI. Lxiv. 158-LXV. 161 

of a slender appearance, jointed and divided with 
knots and tapering gradually off to the top with a 
rather thick tuft of hair, which also is not with- 
out value, as it either serves instead of feathers to 
stuff the beds of innkeepers, or in places where it 
grows very hard and woody in structure, as in 
Belgium, it is pounded up and insertcd between 
the joints of ships to caulk the seams, holding better 
than glue and being more rehable for filHng cracks 
than pitch. 

LXV. The peoples of the East employ reeds in Reed 
making war ; by means of reeds with a feather added """^^ 
to them they hasten the approach of death, and to 
reeds they add points which deal wounds with their 
barb that cannot be extracted, and if the weapon 
itself breaks in the wound, another weapon is made 
out of it. With these weapons they obscure the 
very rays of the sun, and this is what chiefly makes 
them want calm weather and hate wind and rain, 
which compel the combatants to keep peace between 
them. And if anybody should make a rather careful 
reckoning of the Ethiopians, Egyptians, Arabs, 
Indians, Scythians and Bactrians, and the numerous 
races of the Sarmatians and of the East, and all the 
realms of the Parthians, almost one-half of mankind 
in the whole world Hves subject to the sway of the 
reed.'* It was outstanding skill in this employment 
of the reed in Crete that made her warriors famous ; 
but in this also, as in all other things, Italy has 
won the victory, as no reed is more suitable for arrows 
than that Mhich grows in the river at Bologna, the 
Reno, which contains the largest amount of pith 
and has a good flying weight and a balance that 
offers a sturdy resistance even to gusts of wind — an 

491 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

flatus quoque pervicax libra : quippe non eadem 
gratia Bclgicis. haec et Creticis commendatio, 
omnibus ^ quamquam praeferuntur Indici, quorum alia 
quibusdam videtur natura, quando et hastarum vicem 

162 praebent additis cuspidibus. harundini quidem In- 
dicae arborea amplitudo, quales vulgo in temphs 
videmus. differre mares ac feminas in his quoque 
Indi tradunt: spissius mari corpus, feminae capa- 
cius. navigiorumque etiam vicem praestant, si 
credimus, singula internodia. circa Acesinen amnem 
maxime nascitur. 

163 Harundo omnis ex una stirpe numerosa, atque 
etiam recisa fecundius resurgit. radix natura vivax, 
geniculata et ipsa. foUa Indicis tantum brevia, 
omnibus vero a nodo orsa conplexu tenues per 
ambitum inducunt tunicas, atque a medio internodio 
cum plurimum desinunt vestire procumbuntque. 
latera harundini calamoque in rotunditate*bina, super 
nodos alterno semper inguine, ut alterum a dextera 
fiat, alterum superiore geniculo ab laeva per vices. 
inde exeunt aliquando rami qui sunt calami tenues. 

164 LXVI. Plura autem genera. aliaspissiordensiorque 
genicuHs, brevibus internodiis, aha rarior maioribus, 

^ Silllg : coramendationibus aut commendatis. 
492 



BOOK XVI. Lxv. i6i-Lxvi. 164 

attraction Avhich docs not belong in thc same degree 
to the shafts grown in Belgium. The reeds of 
Crete also have the same valuable property, although 
those from India are placed highest of all, some people 
beheving that they belong to a different species, 
as with the addition of points they also serve the 
purpose of lances. The Indian bamboo indeed is Thebamboo. 
of the size of a tree, as we see in the case of the 
specimens frequently found in our temples. The 
Indians say that in this plant also there is a difference 
between males and females, the male having a more 
compact body and the female a bulkier one. And a 
single length between knots, if we can beheve it, 
will actually serve as a boat. The bamboo grows 
especially on the banks of the river Chenab. 

Every kind of reed makes a great many stems from 
one root, and when it is cut down it grows again 
even more proHfically. The root is by nature very 
tenacious of Hfe ; it as well as the stem is jointed. 
Only the Indian bamboo has short leaves, but in all 
the reeds the leaves sprout from a knot and wrap 
the stem all round with coats of thin tissue, and at a 
point halfway between two knots usually cease to 
clothe the stems and droop forward. The reed and 
the cane though round have tv> o sides, with a series 
of shoots thrown out above the knots alternately, so 
that one forms on the right side and then another at 
the next joint above on the left, turn and turn 
about. From these sometimes grow branches, 
which are themselves slender canes. 

LXVI. There are,however,several varietiesofreed. ^,^^ 
One is rather compact and has joints closer together, laneties o/ 
with short spaces between them, while another has 
them farther apart with larger spaces between 

493 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

teniiiorque et ipsa. calamiis vero alius totus con- 
cavus, quem vocant syringian, utilissimus fistulis, 
quoniam nihil est ei cartilaginis atque carnis. Orcho- 
menio et nodi continuo foramine pervii, quem 

165 auleticon vocant ; hic tibiis utilior, fistulis ille. est 
aHus crassiore Ugno et tenui foramine ; hunc totum 
fungosa replet meduUa. alius brevior, alius procerior, 
exilior crassiorque. fruticosissimus qui vocatur do- 
nax, non nisi in aquaticis natus, quoniam et haec 
differentia est, multum praelata harundine quae in 

166 siccis proveniat. suum genus sagittario calamo, ut 
diximus, sed Cretico, longissimis internodiis, obse- 
quiosum ^ quo Ubeat flecti calefacto. differentias 
faciunt et foUa non multitudine {tantum et longi- 
tudine) ^ verum et colore. varia Laconicis et ab 
ima parte densiora, quales in totum circa stagna gigni 
putant dissimiles amnicis, longisque vestiri foUis 

167 spatiosius a nodo scandente complexu. est et 
obUqua harundo, non in excelsitatem nascens sed 
iuxta terram fruticis modo se spargens, suavissima 
in teneritate animaUbus : vocatur a quibusdam eletia.^ 
est et in ItaUa palustris ex cortice tantum sub ipsa 

^ Backham : obsequiumque. 

2 Mayhoff e Theophr.: (tantum) Pintianus, non (modo) 
multitudine lan. 

* Detlefsen : iletia Urlichs : elegia. 

494 



BOOK XVI. Lxvi. 164-167 

them, and is also thinner in itsclf. But another 
kind of cane is hoUow for its whole length ; its 
Greek name means the flute-reed, and it is very 
useful for making flutes because it contains no pith 
and no fleshy substance. The Orchomenus cane 
has a passage right through even the knots, and is 
called in Greek the pipe-reed ; this is more suitable 
for flageolets, as the preceding kind is for flutes. 
There is another reed the wood of which is thicker 
and the passage narrow ; this reed is entirely filled 
with spongy pith. Reeds are of various lengths 
and thickness. The one called the donax throws 
out most shoots ; it only grows in watery places — 
inasmuch as this also constitutes a difference, a 
reed growing in dry places being much preferred. 
The reed used as an arrow is a special kind, as we 
have said, but the Cretan variety has the longest § I6I. 
intervals between the knots, and when heated allows 
itself to be bent in any direction you please. Also 
differences are made by the leaves, which vary not 
only in number and length but also in colour. The 
Laconian reed has spotted leaves, and throws out a 
greater number at the bottom of the stalk, as is 
thought to be the case with reeds in general that 
grow round marshy pools, which are different from 
river reeds, being draped with long leaves cUmbing 
upward and embracing the stem for a considerable 
distance above the knot. There is also a slanting 
reed which does not shoot upward to any height but 
spreads itself out close to the ground Uke a shrub ; 
it is very attractive to animals when young and tender, 
and is called by some people the eletia. Also in Italy 
there is a growth, found in marsh-reeds, only coming 
out of the outer skin just below the tuft, named 

495 



PLINY : NATURAL HLSTORY 

coma nascens, adarca nomine,^ utilissima dentibus, 
quoniam vis eadem est quae sinapi. 

168 De Orchomenii lacus harundinetis accuratius dici 
cogit admiratio antiqua. characian vocabant cras- 
siorem firmioremque, plocimon vero subtiHorem, 
hanc in insulis fluitantibus natam, illam in ripis 

169 exspatiantis lacus. tertia est harundo tibiaUs calami, 
quem auleticon dicebant. nono hic anno nasce- 
batur; nam et lacus incremento hoc temporis spa- 
tium 2 servabat, prodigiosus si quando amplitudinem 
biennio extendisset, quod notatum apud Chaeroniam 
infausto Atheniensium proeho. est prope Lebadia** ^ 
vocatur influente Cephiso. cum igitur anno per- 
mansit inundatio, proficiunt in aucupatoriam quoque 
amphtudinem : vocabantur zeugitae ; contra bom- 
byciae maturius reciproca,*graciles, feminarum latiore 
foho atque candidiore, modica lanugine aut omnino 

170 nulla spadonum nomine insignis. hinc erant arma- 
menta ad inclutos cantus, non silendo et rehquo curae 
miraculo, ut venia sit argento iam potius cani. caed' 
solebant tempestivae usque ad Antigeniden tibicinem, 
cum adhuc simphci musica uterentur, sub Arcturo. 

^ Urlichs : nascens adarca nomine ante palustris. 
2 incremento . . . spatium ? MayhoJJ : incrementum . , , 
spatio. 

^ Detlejsen : et saepe lebaida. 

^ reciproca ? Mayhojf : reciproco. 

" At Chaeronea in Boeotia the Athenians and Boeotians 
were defeated by Philip of Macedon's invading army, 338 b.c. 
* The Latin text is corrupt. 

496 



BOOK XVI. Lxvi. 167-170 

adarca, whicli is vcry bencficial for tlie teeth, as it has 
the same pungency as mustard. 

The admiration exprcssed in old days for the reed- R^^<^' 0/ 
beds of the Lake of Orchomenus compels me to speak uied esped- 
about them in greater detail. The Greek name for a S/'^ 
ratlier tliick, stronger kind of reed used to be ' fence- 
reed,' and for a more slendcr variety ' plaiting reed,' 
the lattcr growing in ishinds floating on the water 
and tlie former on the banks overflowcd by the lake. 
The third is the flageolet rced — ' pipe-reed ' used to 
be the Greek name for it. This took eight years to 
grow, as the lake also regularly took that space of 
time in rising, it being thought to be a bad omen if 
ever it continued at its full height two years longer, a 
thing that was marked by the fatal Athenian i)attie 
at Chaeronea.'^ Not far otf is Lebadea . . . is called 
. . . the Cephisus flowing into it.^ When therefore 
the flooding has continued for a ycar, the reeds grow 
even to a size suitable for purposes of fowling: 
these used to be called in Greek ' yoke-reeds ' ; on the 
other hand those growing when the flood goes down 
sooner were called ' silky reeds,' witli a thin stalk, 
those with a broader and whiter leaf being dis- 
tinguished by the name of ' female reeds,' and those 
with only a small amount of down or none at all being 
called ' eunuchs.' These supphed the instruments 
for glorious music, though mention must also not be 
omitted of the further remarkable trouble required 
to grow them, so that excuse may be made for the 
present-day preference for musical instruments of 
silver. Down to the time of the flautist Anti- 
genides, when a simple style of music was still 
practised, the rceds used to be regarded as ready for 
cutting after the rising of Arcturus. WTien thus 

497 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

sic praej^aratae aliquot post annos utiles esse 

171 incipiebant, tunc quoque multa domandae exer- 
citatione et canerc tibiae ipsae edocendae, com- 
primentibus se lingulis, quod erat illis theatrorum 
moribus utilius. postquam varietas accessit et 
cantus quoque luxuria, caedi ante solstitia coeptae et 
fieri utiles in trimatu, apertioribus earum lingulis 

172 ad flectendos sonos, quae inde sunt et hodie. sed 
tum ex sua quamque tantum harundine congruere 
persuasum erat, et eam quae radicem antecesserat 
laevae tibiae convenire, quae cacumen dexterae, 
inmensum quantum praelatis quas ipse Cephisus 
abluisset. nunc sacrificae Tuscorum e buxo, ludicrae 
vero e loto ossibusque asininis et argento fiunt. 
aucupatoria harundo e ^ Panhormo laudatissima, 
piscatoria Abaritana ex Africa. 

173 LXVII. Harundinis Italiae usus advineas maxime. 
Cato seri eam iubet in miiidis agris bipalio subacto 
prius solo, ocuHs dispositis intervallo ternorum 
pedum, simul et corrudae,^ unde asparagi fiant, con- 
cordare amicitiam, saUcis vero circa ; qua nuUa 
aquaticarum utilior, Hcet popuH vitibus placeant et 
Caecuba educent, licet alni saepibus muniant contra- 

^ Mayhoff : a. 

* Mayhoff '. corrudam. 



" A treble flute was held in the right hand and a bass flute 
in the left, both being played at once. 

* Oculi the ' eyes ' or knobs on the roots, and so the cuttings 
used for pianting, c/. XVII. 144. 

49S 



BOOK XVI. Lwi. 170-LXV11. 173 

prepared the reeds began to be fit for iise a few 
years latcr, thougli even then the actual flutes needed 
maturing with a great deal of practice, and educating 
to sing of themselves, with the tongues pressing 
themselves down, which was more serviceable for 
the theatrical fashions then prevaiUng. But after 
variety came into fashion, and luxury even in music, 
the reeds began to be cut before midsummer and 
made ready for use in three years, their tongues 
being wider open to modulate the sounds, and these 
continue to the present day. But at that time it 
was firmly beUeved that only a tongue cut from the 
same reed as the pipe in each case would do, and that 
one taken from just above the root was suitable for a 
left-hand flute and one from just below the top for a 
right-hand ^ flute ; and reeds that had been washed 
by the waters of Cephisus itself were rated as im- 
measurably superior. At the present time the flutes 
used by the Tuscans in rehgious ritual are made of 
box-wood, but those for theatrical performances are 
made of lotus and asses' bones and silver. The 
reeds most approved for fowhng come from Palermo, 
and those to make fishing-rods are from Abarsa in 
Africa. 

LXVII. In Italy the reed is chiefly employed to iiaiianreeds 
serve as a prop for vines. Cato recommends planting f^'' p^'*?^- 
it in damp lands, after first working the soil with a «.«.vi.3,4. 
double mattock, a space a yard wide being left between 
the shoots '^ ; and he says that at the same time also 
wild asparagus, from which garden asparagus is 
produced, associates in friendship with it, and so 
does willow when planted round it — the willow 
being the most useful of the water-plants, although 
vines like poplars and the Caecuban vines are trained 

499 



PLINY: NATUllAL HISTORY 

que erumpcntium amnium impetus riparum modo ^ in 
tutela ruris excubent in aqua satae densius, caesae- 
que 2 innumero herede prosint. 

174 LXVIII. Salicisutilitatum^pluragenera. namque 
et in proceritatem magnam emittunt iugis vinearum 
perticas pariterque * balteo corticis vincula, et aliae 
virgas sequaces ad vincturas lentitiae, aliae ^ prae- 
tenues viminibus texendis spectabili subtilitate, 
rursus aliae firmiores corbibus ac plurimae agrico- 
larum supellectili, candidiores ablato cortice levique 
tractatu amplioribus ^ vasis quam ' ut e corio fiant 
eadem,® atque etiam supinarum in delicias cathe- 

175 drarum aptissimae. caedua salici fertilitas densi- 
orque tonsura ex brevi pugno verius quam ramo, 
non, ut remur, in novissimis curanda arbore : nuUius 
quippe tutior reditus est minorisve inpendi aut 
tempestatium securior. 

176 LXIX. Tertium locum ei in aestimatione ruris Cato 
adtribuitprioremque quam oHvetis quamque frumento 
aut pratis — nec quia desint aha vincula, siquidem et 
genistae et populi et uhiii et sanguinei frutices et 
betullae et harundo fissa et harundinum foha, ut 
in Liguria, et vitis ipsa recisisque aculeis rubi 

^ Warmington: muro. 

2 Urlichs : caesasque densiua. 

^ utilitatum ? Mayhoff {ijise etiam) : statim. 

* Detlefsen: pariuntque. 

^ Edd. : alias. 

^ amplioribus ? Mayhoff {ipse maioribus) : melioribus atU 
mollioribus. 

■^ Edd. quae. 

•* Mayhoff: eodem. 

500 



BOOK XVI. Lxvii. 173-LXIX. 176 

up on them, and althoiif^li alders in hedges give 
protection and, if planted rather close together in 
water, stand sentry like banks to guard the country 
against the assaults of the rivers when they overflow, 
and when cut down they are useful because of the 
innumerable suckers that they produce as successors. 

LXVIII. The uses made of willows are of several Wiii/>w8 
kinds. They send out rods of great length used for aZiwiih^^' 
vine-trellises and at the same time provide strips of 
bark for withes, and some grow shoots of a yielding 
flexibility useful for tying, others extremely thin 
ones suitable for weaving into basketwork of an 
admirably fine texture, and other stronger ones for 
plaiting baskets and a great many agricultural 
utensils, while the whiter ones when the bark has 
been removed and they have been worked smooth 
do to make bottles more capacious than any that 
can be made of leather, and also are extremely 
suitable for luxurious easy chairs. The willow 
sprouts again after being lopped, and from the short 
stump, which is more Hke a fist than a branch, 
makes a thicker growth for cutting, the tree being in 
our opinion not one of the last to choose for cultivation, 
inasmuch as none yields a safer return or involves 
less outlay, and none is more indiiferent to weather. 

LXIX. Cato'' attributes to the willow the thirdplace Varietiesof 
in the estimation of the country-side, and puts it before '^'"^- 
the cultivation of the oHve and before corn or meadow- 
land — and this is not because other kinds of withes 
are lacking, inasmuch as the broom, the poplar, the 
elm, the blood-red cornel, the birch, the reed when 
spHt and the leaves of the reed, as in Liguria, and the 
vine itself and braml)les after the thorns have been 
- R.R. 1. 7. 

501 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

alligant et intorta corylus — mirumque contuso ligno 
alicui maiores ad vincula esse vires ; salici tamen 

177 praecipua dos. finditur Graeca rubens, candidior 
Amerina sed paulo fragilior ideo solido ligat nexu. 
in Asia tria genera observant : nigram utiliorem 
viminibus, candidam agricolarum usibus, tertiam 
quae brevissima est helicem vocant. apud nos 
quoque multi totidem generibus nomina inponunt : 
unam ^ viminalem vocant eandemque purpuream, 
alteram nitellinam a colore, quae est ^ tenuior, 
tertiam Gallicam quae tenuissima. 

178 LXX. Nec in fruticum nec in veprium cauliumve 
neque in herbarum aut alio ullo quam suo genere 
numercntur iure scirpi fragiles palustresque, e quibus 
tegulum tegetesque et qui ^ detracto cortice candelac 
luminibus et funeribus serviunt. firmior quibusdam 
in locis eorum rigor ; namque iis vehficant non in Pado 
tantum nautici verum et in mari piscator Africus 
praepostero more velum intra malos suspendens, 
et mapaha sua Mauri tegunt, proximeque aestimanti 
hoc videantur esse quod in interiore parte mundi 
papyrum. 

179 LXXI. Sui*sed frutectosi generissunt inter aquati- 
cas et rubi, atque sabuci fungosi generis, aliter tamen 

* unam add. Rackham. 

* est? Maykoff: sit. 

' Backham : et tegulum tegetesque e quibus (e quibus [et] 
tegulum tegetesque Mayhoff). 

* Sillig : sui snpra ciim papyrum edd. 

* V 2., Egypt. * Bramblesandeldersarenotwater-plants. 
502 



BOOK XVI. Lxix. 176-LXX1. 179 

cut off serve as ties, and also the hazel when twisted 
— and it is surprising that any wood should make 
stronger ties after being bruised by twisting; 
nevertheless it is the willow that has the properties 
specially required for this purpose. The Greek red 
willow is spht, whilc the Amerian willow, which has a 
Hghter colour but is a Httlc more fragile, is conse- 
quently used as a tie without having been split. 
Three kinds are known in Asia: the black willow, 
which is more useful for ties, the white willow for 
agricultural pui*poses, and a third kind, which is the 
shortest, called the helix. With us also many people 
distinguish the same number of varieties by name ; 
they call one ' plaiting willow ' and also * purple willow,' 
another, which is thinner, ' dormouse willow ' from 
its colour, and a third,the thinnest, ' Gallic willow.' 

LXX. The rush, having a fragile stalk and being a Ruskes. 
marsh plant, is not rightly to be reckoned in the class 
of bushes or of brambles or plants with stalks, nor yet 
among herbaceous plants, or in any other class 
except its own ; it is used for making thatch and 
mats, and stripped of its outer coat serves for 
candles and funeral torches. In some places rushes 
are stronger and stiffer, for they are used to carry 
sails not only by boatmen on the Po but also at sea 
by the African fisherman, who hangs his sail in a 
preposterous fashion, between masts, and the Moors 
use them for roofing their cabins ; and if one looks 
closely into the matter, rushes may appear to occupy 
the place held by the papyrus in the inner region 
of the world.** 

LXXI. Among water-plants, in a class of their own Brambies 
but of a bushy nature, are also brambles, and so are a"^^^*- 
elders,* which are of a spongy nature, though in a 

503 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

quam ferulae, quippe plus ligni est utique sabuco ; ex 
qua magis canoram bucinam tubamque credit pastor 
ibi caesa ubi gallorum cantum frutex illc non exaudiat. 

180 rubi mora ferunt et alio genere similitudinem rosac, 
qui ^ vocatm* cynosbatos. tertium genus Idaeum 
vocant Graeci a loco, tenerior quam cetera minori- 
busque spinis et minus aduncis ; flos eius contra 
lippitudines inlinitur, ex mcllc et igni sacro ; contra 
stomachi quoque vitia bibitur ex aqua. sabuci 
acinos habent riigros atque parvos umoris lenti, 
inficiendo maxime capillo, qui et ipsi aqua d,ecocti 
manduntur. 

181 LXXII. Umor et corpori ^ arborum est, qui 
sanguis earum intellegi debet, non idem omnibus : 
ficis lacteus — huic ad caseos figurandos coaguH vis — 
cerasis cumminosus, ulmis salivosus, lentus ac pinguis, 
malis, vitibus, piris aquosus. ^dvaciora quibus lentior. 
atque in totum corpori arborum ut reliquorum 
animalium cutis, sanguis, caro, nervi, venae, ossa, 

182 medullae. pro cute cortex ; mirum, is in moro 
medicis sucum quaerentibus vere hora diei secunda 
lapide incussus manat, altius fractus siccus videtur. 
]iroximi plerisque adipes ; hi vocantur a colore 
alburnum, mollis ac pcssima pars ligni, etiam in 

^ quae Mayhojf. 
2 lilayknjf : cortici. 



Erysipelas. 



504 



BOOK XVI. Lxxi. 179-LXX11. 182 

different way from the giant fennel, as at all events 
the elder has more vvood ; a shepherd beheves that 
a horn or trumpet of elder wood will be louder if the 
wood was cut in some place where the elder bush is 
out of hearing of the crowing of cocks. Brambles 
bear blackberries, and one variety, which is callcd in 
Greek the dog-bramble, a flower Uke a rose. A 
third kind the Greeks call the Ida bramble, from the 
place where it grows, a more slender variety than 
the others, with smaller and less hooked thorns ; 
its blossom is used to make an ointment for sore eyes, 
and also, dipped in honey, for St. Anthony's fire," 
and also soaked in water it makes a draught to cure 
stomach troubles. Elder-trees have small black 
berries with a sticky juice, chiefly used for a hair 
dye ; these also are boiled in water and eaten. 

LXXII. There is also a juice in the body of trees, sapin trees. 
which must be looked upon as their blood. It is 
not the same in all trees — in figs it is a milky 
substance, which has the property of curdhng milk 
so as to produce cheese, in cherries it is gummy, 
in ehns slimy, sticky and fat, in apples, vines and 
pears watery. The stickier this sap is, the longer 
the trees Uve. And in general the bodies of trees, physioio^cai 
as of other Uving things, have in them skin, blood, 'l^J^^^^^°^ 
flesh, sinews, veins, bones and marrow. The bark 
serves for a skin ; it is a remarkable fact as regards 
the bark on a mulberry that when doctors require 
its juice they strike it with a stone two hours after 
sunrise in spring and the juice trickles out, but if 
a deeper wound is made the bark seems to be dry. 
Next to the bark most trees have layers of fatty 
substance, caUed from its white colour albumum ; this 
is soft and the worst part of the wood, rotting easily 

VOL. IV. K 5^5 



PLINY; NATURAL HISTORY 

robore facile putrcscens, teredini obnoxia, quare 
semper amputabitur. subest huic caro, carni ^ ossa, 

183 id est materiae optimum. alternant fructus quibus 
siccius lignum, ut olea, magis quam quibus carnosum, 
ut cerasus. nec omnibus adipes carnesve largae, uti 
nec animalium acerrimis ; neutrum habent buxus, 
cornus, olea, nec medullam minimumque etiam 
sanguinis, sicuti ossa non habent sorba, carnem sabuci 
— at 2 plurimam ambae medullam — nec harundines 
maiore ex parte. 

184 LXXIII. In quarundam arborum carnibus pulpae 
venaeque sunt. discrimen earum facile, venae latiores 
candidioresque pulpa. fissiUbus insunt ; ideo fit ut aure 
ad caput trabis quamlibet praelongae admota ictus ab 
altero capite vel graphii sentiantur penetrante rectis 
meatibus sono, unde deprehenditur an torta sit 

185 materies nodisque concisa. quibus sunt tubera 
sicut sunt ^ in carne glandia, in iis nec vena nec pulpa, 
quodam callo carnis in se convoluto ; hoc pretiosissi- 
mum in citro et acere. cetera mensarum genera 
fissis arboribus circinantur in pulpam, alioqui fragihs 
esset vena in orbem arboris caesa. fagis pectines 

^ Mayhoff : cui. 
" Mayhoff: et. 
** Edd. : sic sunt. 
506 



BOOK XVI. Lxxii. 182-LXX111. 185 

even in a hard oak and liable to wood-worm, for 
whicli rcason il \\i\\ always be removed. Lndcr 
this fat is the llcsh of thc tree and iinder the flesh 
the bones, that is thc best part of the timber. Those 
trees which have a drier wood, for instance the oUve, 
are more Uable to bear fruit only every other year 
than trees whose wood is of a fleshy nature, Uke the 
cherry. And not aU trees have a large amount of 
fat or flesh, any more than the most active among 
animals ; there is no fat or flesh at aU in the box, 
the cornel and the oUve, nor any marrow, and only 
a very smaU quantity even of blood, j ust as the service- 
tree has no bones and the elder no flesh — though both 
have a great deal of marrow — nor have reeds for the 
greater part. 

LXXIII. The flesh of some trees contains fibres Wood fibres 
and veins. It is easy to distinguish between them, ""'^ ^^'^*- 
the veins being broader and whiter than the fibre. 
Veins are found in wood that is easy to split, and con- 
sequently if you put your ear to one end of a beam 
of wood however great its length you can hear even 
taps made with a graver on the other end, the sound 
penetrating by passages running straight through 
the wood, and by this test you can detect whether 
the timber is twisted and interrupted by knots. In 
the case of trees in which there are tuberosities 
resembUng the glands in the flesh of an animal, these 
contain no vessels or fibres, but a kind of hard knot 
of flesh rolled up in a baU ; in the citrus and the 
maple this is the most valuable part. The other 
kinds of wood employed for making tables are cut 
into circles by spUtting the trees along the Une of the 
fibre, as otherwise the vein cut across the round 
of the tree would be brittle. In beech trees the 

507 



PLINY; NATURAL HISTORY 

traversi in pulpa ; apud antiquos inde et vasis honos : 
M'. Curius iuravit se nihil ex praeda attigisse praeter 
guttum faginum quo sacrificaret. 

186 Lignum in longitudinem fluitat,^ utque quaeque ^ 
pars propior ^ fuit ab radice, validius sidit. qui- 
busdam pulpa sine venis mero stamine et tenui 
constat; haec maxime fissiha. aUa frangi celeriora 
quam findi, quibus pulpa non est, ut oleae, vites. at 
e contrario totum e carne corpus fico, tota ossea est * 
ilex, cornus, robur, cytisus, morus, hebenus, lotos et 
quae sine medulla esse diximus. ceteris nigricans 
color, fulva cornus in venabuUs nitet incisuris no- 
data propter decorem. cedrus et larix et iuniperus 

187 rubent. larix femina habet quam Graeci vocant 
aegida meUeic oloris ; inventum pictorum tabelUs 
inmortale nuUisque fissile rimis ^ hoc Ugnum : proxi- 
mum meduUae est ; in abiete lusson Graeci vocant. 
cedri quoque durissima quae meduUae proxima, ut in 
corpore ossa, deraso modo Umo. et sabuci interiora 
mire firma traduntur, quidamque venabula ex ea 
praeferunt omnibus, constat enim ex cute et ossibus. 

1 Pintianus : fluctuatur. 

2 Rackham (ut quaeque Mueller) : ut quae aut utque. 
^ propior adcl. RackJiam. 

* est om. Mayhoff : totae osseae sunt ? Rackham. 

* inventum . . . rimis post hoc lignum . . . voeaut coll. 
Theophr. tr. Mayhoff. 



" The clauise ' when made . . . cracks ' ought perhaps to 
be trausposed below to describe the wood called ' iusson,' in 
order to conform with Theophrastus. 

* Aovoaov Theophrastus. 

' The alburnum, cf. § 182. 

•* Sc. in Greece. 

508 



BOOK XVI. Lxxiii. 185-187 

grainings in the fibre run crosswise, and consequently 
even vessels made of beechwood were highly valued 
in old days : Manius Curius declared on oath that he 
had touched nothing of the booty taken in a battle 
except a flask made of beech-wood, to use in offering 
sacrifices. 

A log of timber floats more or less horizontally, Timbn- 
each part of it sinking deeper the nearer it was to ]^Z7ruded. 
the root. Some timbers have fibre without veins, 
consisting of thin filaments merely ; these are the 
easiest to spHt. Others have no fibre, and break 
more quickly than they spUt, for instance ohves and 
vines. But on the other hand in the fig-tree the body 
consists entirely of flesh, while the holm-oak, cornel, 
hard oak, cytisus, mulberry, ebony, lotus and the 
trees that we have stated to be without marrow, § 183. 
consist entirely of bone. The timber of all of these 
is of a blackish colour except the cornel, hunting 
spears made of which are bright yellow when notched 
with incisions for the purpose of decoration. The 
cedar, the larch and the juniper are red. The 
female larch contains wood called in Greek aegis, 
of the colour of honey ; this wood ^* when made 
into panels for pictures has been found to last for 
ever without being spHt by any cracks ; it is the part 
of the trunk nearest to the pith ; in the fir-tree the 
Greeks call this 'lusson.'^ The hardest part of 
the cedar also is the part nearest the pith — as 
the bones are in the body — provided the shme'' 
has been scraped ofF. It is reported '^ that the 
inner part of the elder also is remarkably firm, 
and some people prefer hunting spears made of 
it to all others, as it consists entirely of skin and 
bones. 

509 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

188 LXXIV. Caedi tempestivum quae decorticentur, ut 
teretes ad templa ceteraque usus rotundi, cum germi- 
nant, alias cortice inextricabili et carie subnascente 
ei materiaque nigrescente, tigna et quibus auferat^ 
securis corticem a bruma ad favonium aut, si prae- 
venire cogamur, arcturi occasu et ante eum fidiculae, 
novissima ratione solstitio : dies siderum horum 
reddentur suo loco. vulgo satis putant observare ne 
qua dedolanda sternatur ante editos suos fructus. 

189 robur vere caesum teredinem sentit, bruma autem 
neque vitiatur neque pandatur, alias obnoxium 
etiam ut torqueat sese findatque, quod in subere 

190 tempestive quoque caeso evenit. infinitum refert 
et lunaris ratio, nec nisi a xx in xxx caedi volunt. 
inter omnes vero convenit utilissime in coitu eius 
sterni, quem diem alii interlunii, alii silentis lunae 
appellant. sic certe Tiberius Caesar concremato 
ponte naumachiario larices ad restituendum caedi in 

191 Raetia praefinivit. quidam dicunt ut in coitu et 
sub terra sit luna, quod fieri non potest nisi noctu. 

^ Warmington : aufert. 

" Presumably the structure made for the 'navalis proeli 
spectaclum ' {Monumentum Ancyranum iv. 43) given by 
Augustus in 2 b.c. at the dedication of the temple of Mar» 
Ultor ; for this a basin was dug, probably in the Gardens of 
Caesar across the Tiber. 

510 



BOOK XVI. Lxxiv. 188-191 

LXXI V. The proper time for felling trees that are to seaion and 
be stripped of their bark, for instance well-turned trees mH'^'^'' ■^'^ 
that are to be used for temples and other purposes timber. 
requiring round pillars, is when they bud — at other 
times the bark is impossible to detach and decay 
is setting in under it and the timber is turning 
black ; but the time for cutting beams and logs 
to be cleared of their bark by the axe is between 
midwinter and the period of westerly wind, or if we 
should be obHged to do it sooner, at the setting of 
Arcturus and, before that, at the setting of the Lyre, 
— on the earliest calculation at midsummer: the 
dates of these constellations will be given in the 
proper place. It is commonly thought sufficient to xtiii. 27], 
take care that no tree is felled to be rough-hewn ^^^* 
before it has born its fruit. The hard oak if cut in 
spring is Uable to wood-worm ; if cut at midwinter 
it neither rots nor warps, but otherwise it is even 
liable to twist and to spht, and this happens in the 
case of the cork-tree even if felled at the proper time. 
It is also of enormous importance to take account 
of the moon, and people recommend that trees should 
be felled only between the twentieth and thirtieth 
days of the month. It is universally agreed, however, 
that the most advantageous time for felhng timber is 
when the moon is in conjunction with the sun, the 
date which some call the interlunar day and others 
the day of the moon's silence. At all events those 
were the limits fixed in advance by the Emperor 
Tiberius for felHng larches in Raetia for the re- 
construction of the deck of the Naval Sham Fight" 
when it had been burnt down. Some people say that 
the moon ought to be in conjunction and below the 
horizon, a thing that can only happen in the night. 

5" 



rUNY: NATURAL HISTORY 

si competant coitus in novissimum diem brumae, illa 
fit ^ aeterna materies ; proxime cum supra dictis 
sideribus. quidam et canis ortum addunt et sic 

192 caesas materias in forum Augustum. nec novellae 
autem ad materiem nec veteres utilissimae. cir- 
cumcisas quoque in meduUam aliqui non inutiliter 
relinquunt, ut omnis umor stantibus defluat. mirum 
apud antiquos primo Punico bello classem Duilli 
imperatoris ab arbore lx die navigavisse, contra 
vero Hieronem regem ccxx naves effectas diebus 
XLV tradit L. Piso ; secundo quoque Punico Scipionis 
classis XL die a securi navigavit. tantum tempesti- 
vitas etiam in rapida celeritate pollet. 

193 LXXV. Cato hominum summus in omni usu de 
materiis haec adicit : ' Prelum ex sappino ^ atra 
potissimum facito. ulmeam, pineam, nuceam, hanc 
atque aliam materiem omnem cum ecfodies, luna 
decrescente eximito post meridiem sine vento austro. 
tum erit tempestiva cimi semen suum maturum erit. 
cavetoque per rorem trahas aut doles.' idemque 

194 mox : ' Nisi intermestri lunaque dimidiata ne tangas 
materiem; quam effodias aut praecidas abs terra, 

^ Dalec. : sit. ^ carpino Cato. 

" In 260 B.c. the first fleet ever built at Rome, commanded 
by Cn. Comelius Scipio Asina, was defeated by the Cartha- 
gmians off Lipara ; the command was transferred to the other 
consul, Duilius, who fitted the ships with boarding-bridges, and 
defeated the Carthaginians at Mylae by boarding their vessela. 

* Hiero, king of Syracuse, in alliance with Carthage, made 
war against Rome 264 b.c. and was defeated and conchided a 
peace in the next year. 

<= R.R. XXXI. 1-2. " Ib. XXXVII. 3-4. 

512 



BOOK XVI. Lxxiv. 191-LXXV. 194 

If conjunctions should coincide with the shortest day 
of the winter solstice, the timber produced lasts for 
ever; and the next best is when the conjunction 
coincides with the constellations mentioned above. 
Some people add the rising of the Dog-star also, 
and say that this was how the timber used for the 
Forum of Augustus was felled. But trees that are 
neither quite young nor old are the most useful 
for timber. Another plan not without value is 
followed by some people, who make a cut round 
the trees as far as the pith and then leave them 
standing, so that all the moisture may drain out of 
them. It is a remarkable fact that in old days in 
the first Punic War the fleet commanded by DuiUus ° 
was on the water within 60 days after the timber 
left the tree, while, according to the account of 
Lucius Piso, the 220 ships that fought against 
King Hiero ^ were built in 45 days ; also in the second 
Punic war Scipio's fleet sailed on the 40th day after 
the timber had been felled. So effective is prompt 
action even in the hurry of an emergency. 

LXXV. Cato, the leading authority on timber in Caioor, 
all its uses, adds the following advice '^ : ' Make a '^'^^' 
press of black fir wood for choice. With elm, 
pine or walnut timber, when you are going to root 
up these or any other tree, take them up when the 
moon is waning, in the aftemoon, when there is not 
a south wind. A tree will be ready for feUing when 
its seed is ripe. And be careful not to haul a tree or 
trim it with the axe when there is a dew.' And 
the same writer later ^ : ' Do not touch timber ex- 
cept at new moon, or else at the end of the 
moon's second quarter ; with timber which you dig 
up by the roots or cut off level with the ground, 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

diebus vii proximis quibus luna plena fuerit, op- 
time eximitur. omnino caveto ni quam ^ materiem 
doles neve caedas neve tangas nisi siccam, neve 
gelidam neve rorulentam.' Tiberius item 2 et in 
capillo tondendo servavit interlunia. M. Varro 
adversus defluvia praecipit observandum id a pleni- 
luniis. 

195 LXXVI. Larici^ et magis abieti* succisis umor diu 
defluit. hae omnium arborum altissimae ac rectis- 
simae. navium malis antemnisque propter levitatem 
praefertur abies. commune et his et pino quoque ^ 
ut quadripertitos venarum cursus bifidosve habeant 
vel omnino simpUces. fabrorum in ^ intestina opera 
medulla sectihs optima quadripertitis . . ."^ materies 
et molUor quam ceterae ; inteUectus in cortice pro- 

196 tinus peritis. abietis quae pars a terra fuit enodis 
est. haec qua diximus ratione fluviata detoratur ^ 
atque ita sappinus vocatur, superior pars nodosa 
duriorque fusterna. et in ipsis autem arboribus 
robustiores aquiloniae partes ; et in totum deteriores 
ex umidis opacisque, spissiores ex apricis ac diu- 
turnae ; ideo Romae infernas abiei supernati prae- 
fertur. 

^ Gesner : nigram. 
^ Urlichs : idem. 
^ Edd. : laricis. 

* Edd. : abietis. 

^ commune . . . quoque ? Mayhoff : communia his pino- 
que. 

" in add. Sillig. 

' (pessima bifidis) Mayhoff. 

^ Detlefsen (decorticatur alii) : decoratur. 

* Turpentine. 

* The words rendered ' and that . . . worst ' are a con- 
jectural addition to the Latin. 



BOOK XVI. Lxxv. 194-LXXV1. 196 

the seven days next aftcr full moon are the best 
for removing it. Beware absolutely of rough- 
hewing or cutting or touching any timber unless it 
is dry, and when it is frozen or wet with dew.' 
Similarly the emperor Tiberius kept to the period 
between two moons even in having his hair cut. 
Marcus Varro advises the plan of having one's hair 
cut just after fuU moon, as a precaution against 
going bald. 

LXXVI. When the laroh and still more the silver fir Larch and 
has been felled, a Hquid '^ flows from them for a long fhe^^eg 
time. These are the tallest and the straightest of all «"^ habitati 
the trees. For the masts and spars of ships the fir is 
preferred because of its light weight. A property 
shared by these trees and also by the pine is that 
of having veins running through the wood in four 
or in two divisions, or else only in one line. The 
interior in the four-veined kind is the best timber 
to cut up for inlaid wood-work and that in the two- 
veined the worst,^ and softer than the other kinds; 
experts can tell them at once from the bark. Fir 
wood from the part of the tree that was near the 
ground is free from knots. This timber after being 
floated in a river in the way which we have de- 
scribed is cleared of bulges, and when so treated § I86. 
is called sappinus, while the upper part which is 
knotted and harder is called club-wood. More- 
over in the trees themselves the parts towards 
the north-east are stronger ; and in general trees 
from damp and shady places are inferior and 
those from sunny places are closer grained and 
durable ; on this account at Rome fir from the 
Tuscan coast is preferred to that from the 
Adriatic. 

515 



PLINY: NATURAL IIISTORY 

197 Est inter ^ se geRtium quoque in his differentia. 
Alpibus Appenninoque laudatissimae, in Galliae ^ 
luribus ac monte Vosego, in Corsica, Bithynia, 
Ponto, Macedonia. deterior Aenianica et Arcadica, 
pessima Parnasia et Euboica, quoniam ramosae ibi 
et contortae putrescentesque facile. at cedrus in 
Creta, Africa, Syria laudatissima. cedri oleo per- 

198 uncta materies nec tiniam nec cariem sentit. iuni- 
pero eadem virtus quae cedro ; vasta haec in Hispania 
maximeque Vaccaeis ; medulla eius ubicumque ^ 
soHdior etiam quam cedrus. publicum omnium 
vitium vocant spiras, ubi convolvere se venae atque 
nodi. inveniuntur in quibusdam sicut in marmore 
centra, id est duritia clavo similis, inimica serris ; 
et quaedam forte accidunt, ut * lapide conprehenso 
ac ^ recepto in corpus aut alterius arboris ramo. 
ferunt lapides ita inventos ad continendos partus esse 

199 remedio.^ Megaris diu stetit oleaster in foro, cui 
viri fortes adfixerant arma, quae cortice ambiente 
aetas longa occultaverat ; fuitque arbor illa fatalis, 
excidio urbis praemonito '^ oraculo cum arbor arma 
peperisset, quod succisae accidit ocreis galeisque 
intus repertis. 

1 inter add. RacJcham. 

2 Galliae? Mayhojf : Gallia. 

3 utique ? Mayhoff. 
^ ut Dalec. : in. 

^ ac ? Mayhoff : aut. 

* ferunt . . . remedio hic Warmington : infra post re- 
pertis. 
' Rackham : praemonita aut praemonitas. 



" Perhaps the Latin should be altered to give ' at all 
events is.' 



516 



BOOK XVI. Lxxvi. 197-199 

In trees of this class there is also a difference 
corresponding to their native countries. The most 
highly spoken of grow on the Alps and the Apennines, 
on the Jura and \'osges mountains of Gaul, in Corsica, 
Bithynia, Pontus and Macedonia. The firs of Aenia 
and Arcadia are inferior, and those of Parnassus 
and Euboea the worst, because in those places they 
are branchy and twisted and the wood is apt to rot. 
As for the cedar, those in Crete, Africa and Syria 
are the most highly spoken of. Timber well smeared PtcuHanUes 
with ccdar oil does not suffer from maggot or decay. 
The juniper has the same excellence as the cedar; 
this tree grows to a great size in Spain and especially 
in the territory of the Vaccaei ; the heart of its 
timber is everywhere <* even more solid than that 
of the cedar. A general fault of all timber is what 
is called cross-grain, when the veins and knots have 
grown twisted. In some trees are found centres 
like those in marble, that is hard pieces Uke a nail, 
unkind to the saw ; and there are some hardnesses 
due to accident, as when a stone, or the branch of 
another tree, has been caught in a hollow and 
taken into the body of the tree. It is said that 
stones found inside trees serve as a preventive 
against abortion. In the market-place at Me- 
gara long stood a wild olive tree on which brave 
warriors had hung their weapons ; these in the 
course of time had been hidden by the bark grow- 
ing round them ; and on this tree depended the 
fate of the city, an oracle having prophesied that 
it would be destroyed when a tree gave birth to 
arms — which happened to this tree when it was 
cut down, greaves and helmets being found in- 
side it. 

5T7 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

200 Amplissima arborum ad hoc aevi existimatur 
Romae visa quam propter miraculum Tiberius Caesar 
in eodem ponte naumachiario exposuerat advectam 
cum reliqua materie, duravitque ad Neronis princi- 
pis amphitheatrum. fuit autem trabs ea e larice, 
longa pedes cxx, bipedali crassitudine aequalis, quo 
intellegebatur vix credibiHs rehqua altitudo fasti- 

201 gium ad cacumen aestimantibus. fuit memoria nostra 
et in porticibus saeptorum a M. Agrippa relicta aeque 
miracuU causa, quae diribitorio superfuerat, xx pedi- 
bus brevior, sesquipedaU crassitudine. abies admira- 
tionis praecipuae visa est in nave quae ex Aegypto 
Gai principis iussu obeUscum in Vaticano circo statu- 
tum quattuorque truncos lapidis eiusdem ad susti- 
nendum eum adduxit ; qua nave nihil admirabiUus 
visum in mari certum est. cxx modium lentis pro 

202 saburra ei fuere : longitudo spatium obtinuit magna 
ex parte Ostiensis portus latere laevo ; ibi namque 
demersa est Claudio principe cum tribus moUbus 
turrium altitudine in ea exaedificatis, factis ^ ob id 
ex 2 Puteolano pulvere advectisque. arboris eius 
crassitudo quattuor hominum ulnas conplectentium 
implebat ; vulgoque auditur lxxx nummum et pluris 
malos venundari ad eos usus, rates vero conecti 

203 XL sestertium plerasque. at in Aegypto ac Syria 
reges inopia abietis cedro ad classes feruntur 

^ factis add. Rackham. 
* Detlefsen : obiter. 



" Nero, in his second consulship, a.d. 59, erected a vast 
amphitheatre of wood, as a temporary structure. 



5»8 



BOOK X\'I. Lxxvi. 200-203 

What is believed to have been the largest tree ExcepHon 
ever seen at Ronic down to the prescnt tinie was "^ies^''^" 
one that Tiberius Caesar caused to be exhibited 
as a marvel on the deck of tlie Naval Sham Fight 
before mentioned ; it had been brought to llome § 190. 
with the rest of the timber used, and it lasted till 
the amphitheatre of the emperor Nero." It w^as a 
log of larchwood, 120 feet long and of a uniform 
thickness of two feet, from which could be inferred 
the almost incredible height of the rest of the tree 
by calculating its length to the top. Within our 
own memory there was also an equally marvellous 
tree left by Marcus Agrippa in the porticos of the 
Voting-booths, left over from the timber used for 
the ballot office ; this was twenty feet shorter than 
the one previously mentioned, and 18 inches in 
thickness. An especially wonderful fir was seen 
in the ship which brought from Egypt at the order 
of the emperor Gaius the obelisk erected in the 
Vatican Circus and four shafts of the same stone to 
serve as its base. It is certain that nothing more 
wonderful than this ship has ever been seen on the 
sea : it carried one hundred and twenty bushels of 
lentils for ballast, and its length took up a large part 
of the left side of the harbour of Ostia, for under 
the emperor Claudius it was sunk there, with three 
moles as high as towers erected upon it that had been 
made of PozzuoU cement for the pui*pose and con- 
veyed to the place. It took four men to span the 
girth of this tree wuth their arms ; and we commonly 
hear that masts for those purposes cost 80,000 
sesterces and more, and that to put together the rafts 
usually runs to 40,000. But in Egypt and Syria Treesfor 
for want of fir the kings are said to have used cedar J^^''"*^ 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

usi ; maxima ^ in Cypro traditur, ad undeciremem 
Demetrii suceisa, cxxx pedum, crassitudinis vero ad 
trium hominum conplexum. Germaniae praedones 
singulis arboribus cavatis navigant, quarum quaedam 
et XXX homines ferunt. 

204 Spississima ex omni materie, ideo et gravissima, 
iudicatur hebenus et buxus, graciles natura. neutra 
in aquis fluvitat, nec suber si dematur cortex, nec 
larix. ex reUquis spississima lotos quae Romae ita 
appellatur, dein robur exalburnatum. et huic nigri- 
cans color magisque etiam cytiso, quae proxime 
accedere hebenum videtur, quamquam non desunt 

205 qui Syriacas terebinthos nigriores adfirment. cele- 
bratur ^ et Thericles nomine cahces ex terebintho 
soUtus facere torno : perquam probatur materies ; 
omnium haec sola ungui vult mehorque fit oleo. 
colos mire adulteratur iuglande ac piro silvestri 
tinctis atque in medicamine decoctis. omnibus quae 

206 diximus spissa firmitas. ab iis proxima est cornus, 
quamquam non potest nitere ^ materies propter 
exihtatem, sed hgnum non aUo paene quam ad 
radios rotarum utile aut si quid cuneandum sit in 
hgno clavisve figendum ceu ferreis. ilex item et 

' ^ Maykoff : maxima ea. 

'■^ celebravit Mayhoff. 
3 nitere? Mayhoff{cf. 186): videri. 



See p. 468 n. 



520 



BOOK XVI. Lxxvi. 203-206 

wood for their fleets ; the largest cedar is reported 
to have been grown in Cyprus and to have been 
felled to make a mast for a galley with rowers in 
teams of eleven belonging to Demetrius ; it was 
one hundred and thirty feet long and took three 
men to span its girth. The pirates of Germany 
voyage in boats made of a single tree hoUowed out, 
some of which carry as many as thirty people. 

The most close-grained of all timber and conse- Varietiesof 
quently the heaviest is judged to be ebony and box, %^e^J 
both trees of a slender make. Neither will float in 
water, nor will the cork-tree if its bark be removed, 
nor the larch. Of the remainder the most close- 
grained is the one called at Rome the lotus," and next 
the hard oak when the white sap-wood has been 
removed. The hard oak also has wood of a dark 
colour, and still darker is that of the cytisus, which 
appears to come very near to ebony, although people 
are to be found who assert that the turpentine-trees 
of Syria are darker. Indeed there is a celebrated 
artificer named Thericles who used to turn goblets 
of turpentine-tree wood, which is a highly valued 
material ; it is the only wood that needs to be oiled, 
and is improved by oil. Its colour can be wonderfuUy 
counterfeited by staining walnut and wild pear wood 
and boiUng them in a chemical preparation. AU 
the trees that we have mentioned have hard close- 
grained wood. Next after them comes the cornel, 
though its wood cannot be given a shiny poUsh 
because of its poor surftice ; but cornel wood is hardly 
useful for anything else except the spokes of wheels 
or in case something has to be wedged in wood or 
fixed with bolts made of it, which are as hard as iron. 
There are also the holm-oak, the wild and cultivated 

521 



PLINY; NATURAL HISTORY 

oleaster et olea atque castanea, carpinus, populus. 
haec ct crispa aceris niodo — si ulla materies idonea 
esset ramis saepe deputatis : castratio illa est adi- 

207 mitque vires. de cetero plerisque horum, sed utique 
robori, tanta duritia ut terebrari nisi madefactum non 
queat et ne sic quidem adactus avelli clavus. e 
diverso clavum non tenet cedrus. molhssima tiha ; 
eadem videtur et caHdissima : argumentum adferunt 
quod citissime ascias retundat. caUdae et morus, 
laurus, hederae et omnia e quibus igniaria fiunt. 

208 LXXVII. Exploratormn hoc usus in castris pasto- 
rumque repperit, quoniam ad excudendum ignem non 
semper lapidis occasio est ; teritur ergo hgnum Ugno 
ignemque concipit adtritu, excipiente materie aridi fo- 
mitis, fungi vel foUorum faciUimo conceptu. sed nihil 
hedera praestantius quae teratur, lauro quae terat ; 
probatur et vitis ex silvestribus aUa quam labrusca, 

209 et ipsa hederae modo arborem scandens. frigidis- 
sima quaecumque aquatica ; lentissima autem et ideo 
scutis faciendis aptissima quorum plaga contrahit se 
protinus cluditque suum vulnus et ob id contumacius 
tramittit ferrum, in quo sunt genere vitis,^ vitex,'-^ 

1 Mayhoff e Theophr. : fici. 

2 Mayhoff e Vitruv. : ut ex aut ilex. 

* Igniaria, Trupeta, fire-sticks, were two pieces of hard 
wood ignited by rubbing them together. 

522 



BOOK XVI. Lxxvi. 206-Lxxvii. 209 

olivc, the che.stnut, the liurnbeani and tlic |)oj)lar. 
The last is also mottled hke the maplc - if only 
any timber could be any good whcn the branches 
of the tree are frequently lopped : this amounts to 
gelding the tree, and takes away all its strength. 
For the rest, most of these trees, but especially the 
hard oak, are so hard that it is not possible to bore 
a hole in the vvood until it has been soaked in water, 
and even then when a nail has been driven right into 
it it cannot be puUed out. On the other hand cedar 
gives no hold to a nail. The softest of all woods is 
Hme, and it is also apparently the hottest as well : 
it is adduced in proof of this that it turns the edge of 
adzes quicker than any other wood. Other hot 
woods are mulberry, laurel, ivy and all those used for 
making matches." 

LXXVII. This has been discovered by experience Wood/or 
in the camps of miUtary scouting parties and '" "^' 
of shepherds, because there is not always a stone 
at hand to strike fire with ; consequently two 
pieces of wood are rubbed together and catch fire 
owing to the friction, and the fire is caught in a lump 
of dry tinder, fungus or dead leaves catching most 
readily. But there is nothing better than ivy wood 
for rubbing against and laurel wood for rubbing with ; 
one of the wild vines (not the claret-vine), which 
chmbs up a tree hke ivy, is also spoken well of. 
The trees that have the coldest wood of all are all otheruies/or 
that grow in water; but the most flexible, and "^ 
consequently the most suitable for making shields, 
are those in which an incision draws together at once 
and closes up its own wound, and which conse- 
quently is more obstinate in allowing steel to 
penetrate ; this class contains the vine, agnus castus, 

523 



PLINY: NATURAL IIISTORY 

salix, tilia, betuUa, sabucus, populus utraque. levissi- 
mae ex his vitex,^ salix ideoque utilissimae ; omnes 
autem ad cistas quaeque ^ flexili crate constent 
habiles. habent et candorem, rigorem et in sculpturis 

210 facilitatem. est lentitia platano, sed madida, sicut 
ahio ; siccior eadem ulmo, fraxino, moro, ceraso, sed 
ponderosior. rigorem fortissime servat ulmus, ob id 
cardinibus coassamentisque^portarum utiHssima, quo- 
niam minime torquetur, permutanda tantum sic ut ca- 

211 cumen ab inferiore sit cardine, radix superior. palma 
est . . .* simiUs et suberis materies, spissae et malus 
pirusque, nec non acer, sed fragile, et quaecumque 
crispa. in omnibus silvestria et mascuia differentiam 
cuiusque generis augent ; et infecunda firmiora ferti- 
libus, nisi quo in genere mares ferunt, sicut cupressus 
et cornus. 

212 LXXVm. Cariem vetustatemque non sentiunt 
cupressus, cedrus, hebenus, lotus, buxum, taxus, 
iuniperus, oleaster, olea ; e reUquis tardissime larix, 
robm*, suber, castanea, iuglans. rimam fissuramque 
non capit sponte cedrus, cupressus, olea, buxum. 

213 LXXIX. Maxime aeternamputant hebenum, et cu- 
pressumcedrumque, claro de omnibus materiis iudicio 
in templo Ephesiae Dianae, utpote cum tota Asia 
extruente cxx annis peractum sit. convenit tectum 



1 Mayhoff : his sicut et. 

' quaequae Deilefsen. 

^ Schneidewin : crassamentis. 

^ Lacunam Mayhoff coll. Theophr. 

524 



BOOK XVI. Lxxvii. 209-Lxxix. 213 

willow, lime, birch, elder, and both kinds of poplar. 
Of these woods the Hghtest and consequently the 
most useful are the agnus castus and the willow ; 
but they are all suited for making baskets and 
things consisting of flexible wicker-work. Also 
they are shiny and hard, and easy to use in carvings. 
Plane has flexibiUty, but of a moist kind, like alder; 
a drier flexibility belongs to elm, ash, mulberry, 
and cherry, but it is heavier. Ebn retains its 
toughness most stoutly, and is in consequence the 
most useful wood for the hinges and frames of doors, 
because it is not liable to warp, only it should be 
put the other way up, so that the top of the tree is 
towards the lower hinge and the root above. The 
pahn is . . . and also cork-tree timber is similar; 
apple and pear are also close-grained, as well as 
maple, but maple is brittle, and so are any veined 
woods. In all trees the characteristics of each kind 
are carried further by wild specimens and by males ; 
and barren trees have stronger wood than fertile 
ones, except in species where the male trees bear, 
for instance the cj^press and the comel. 

LXXVIII. The following trees do not experience Resistance 
decay and age — cj^ress, cedar, ebony, lotus, box, ^^„2'^" 
yew, juniper, wild olive, cultivated oUve ; and of'*'"*^** 
the remainder the slowest to age are the larch, 
hard oak, cork, chestnut and walnut. The cedar, 
cypress, cultivated oUve and box do not split or 
crack of their own accord, 

LXXIX. It is believed that ebony lasts an extremely 
long time, and also cypress and cedar, a clear verdict 
about aU timbers being given in the temple of Diana 
at Ephesus, inasmuch as though the whole of Asia 
was buikUng it it took 120 years to complete. It is 

525 



PLINY: NATUllAL HISTORY 

eius esse e cedrinis trabibus ; de simulacro ipso deae 
ambigitur : ceteri ex hebeno esse tradunt, Mucianus 
III cos. ex iis qui proxime viso scripsere vitigineum 

214 et numquam mutatum septies restituto templo, hanc 
materiam elegisse Endoeon,^ etiam nomen artificis 
nuncupans, quod equidem miror, cum antiquiorem 
Minerva quoque, non modo Libero patre, vetustatem 
ei tribuat. adicit multis foraminibus nardo rigari, 
ut medicatus umor alat teneatque iuncturas — quas 

215 et ipsas esse modico admodum miror — valvas esse e 
cupresso et iam cccc prope annis durare materiem 
omnem novae similem. id quoque notandum, valvas 
in glutinis compage quadriennio fuisse. cupressus 
in eas electa, quoniam praeter cetera in uno genere 

216 materiae nitor maxime valeat aeternus. nonne 
simulacrum Veiovis in arce e cupresso durat a condita 
urbe 2 DLXi ^ anno dicatum ? memorabile et Uticae 
templum ApolHnis, ubi cedro Numidica trabes 
durant, ita ut positae fuere prima urbis eius origine, 
annos * mclxxviii, et in Hispania Sagunti templum 

^ Sillig : eandem con. 

2 urbe add. edd. 

^ numerum varie codd. et edd. 

* Rackham : annis. 



" I.e., in view of the moderate size of the statue it ia aurprising 
that it was not carved out of a single block of wood. 
* 193 B.o. 

526 



BOOK XVI. LXAix. 213-216 

agreed that its roof is made of beams of cedar, 
but as to the actual statue of the goddess there is 
some dispute, all the other writers saying that it is 
made of ebony, but one of the people who have 
most recently seen it and written about it, Mucianus, 
who was three times consul, states that it is made of 
the wood of the vine, and has never been altered 
although the temple has been restored seven times ; 
and that this material was chosen by Endoeus — 
Mucianus actually specifies the name of the artist, 
which for my part I think surprising, as he assigns 
to the statue an antiquity that makes it older than 
not only Father Liber but Minerva also. He adds 
that nard is poured into it through a number of 
apertures so that the chemical properties of the 
Hquid may nourish the wood and keep the joins 
together — as to these indeed I am rather surprised 
that there shoukl be any<* — and that the folding 
doors are made of cypress wood, and the whole of 
the timber looks Uke new wood after having lasted 
nearly 400 years. It is also worth noting that the 
doors were kept for four years in a frame of glue. 
Cypress was chosen for them because it is the one 
kind of wood which beyond all others retains its 
polish in the best condition for all time. Has not 
the statue of Vejovis in the citadel, made of cypress 
wood, lasted since its dedication in the year 561 * 
after the foundation of Rome ? Noteworthy also 
is the temple of Apollo at Utica, where beams of 
Numidian cedar have lasted for 1178 years just 
as they were when they were put in position at the 
original foundation of that city ; and the temple 
of Diana at Saguntum in Spain, thc statue of the 
goddess, according to the authority of Bocchus, 

527 



PLINY: NATUIIAL HISTORY 

Dianae a Zacyntho advectae cum conditoribus 
annis cc ante excidium Troiae, ut auctor est Boc- 
chus ; intra ^ ipsum oppidum id habent — pepercit 
rehgione inductus Hannibal — iuniperi trabibus etiam 

217 nunc durantibus. super omnia memoratur aedis 
AuHde eiusdem deae saecuUs aHquot ^ ante Troianum 
bellum exaedificata, quonam genere materiae scientia 
obHtterata. in plenum dici potest utique quae odore 

218 praecellant eas et aeternitate praestare. a praedictis 
morus proxume laudatur quae vetustate etiam ni- 
grescit. et quaedam tamen in aUis diuturniora sunt 
usibus quam aHas ^ : ulmus in perflatu firma, robur 
defossum et in aquis quercus obruta; eadem supra 
terram rimosa facit opera torquendo sese. larix 
in umore praecipua et alnus nigra; robur marina 
aqua conrumpitur. non inprobatur et fagus in 
aqua et iuglans, hae quidem in iis quae defodiuntur 
vel principales, item iuniperus (eadem et subdiaHbus 
aptissima), fagus et cerrus celeriter marcescunt, 

219 aesculus quoque umoris inpatiens. contra adacta in 
terram in palustribus alnus aeterna onerisque quanti- 
Hbet patiens. cerasus firma, ulmus et fraxinus lentae, 
sed facile pandantur, flexiles tamen, stantesque ac 
circumcisura siccatae fideliores.* laricem in maritimis 



1 intra? Mayhoff : infra. 

2 aliquot add. Brotier. 

^ alias vel in aliia ? Mayhoff : alia. 
* siccatae fiunt duriores Detlefsen. 

528 



BOOK XVI. Lxxix. 216-219 

having been brought thcre from Zac) nthus with the 
founders of the city 200 years before the fall of Troy ; 
it is kept inside the town itself — Hannibal from 
motives of rehgion spared it — and its beams, made 
of juniper, are still in existence even now. 
Memorable above all is the temple of the same 
goddess at Auhs, built some centuries before the 
Trojan war ; all knowledge of what kind of timber 
it was built of has entirely disappeared. Broadly 
speaking it can at all events be said that those woods 
have the most outstanding durabihty which have the 
most agreeable scent. Next in esteem after the 
timbers mentioned stands that of the mulberry, 
which even darkens with age. At the same time also 
some woods last longer when employed in certain 
ways than they do otherwise : elm lasts best ex- 
posed to the air, hard oak when used under ground, 
and oak when submerged under water — oak when 
above the ground warps and makes cracks in struc- 
tures. Larch and black alder do the best in damp ; 
hard oak is rotted by sea water. Beech and walnut 
are also well spoken of for use in water, these timbers 
indeed holding quite the first place among those that 
are used under the ground, and hkewise juniper 
(which is also very serviceable for structures exposed 
to the air), whereas beech and Turkey oak quickly 
decay, and the winter oak also will not stand damp. 
The alder on the other hand if driven into the ground 
in marshy places lasts for ever and stands a load of any 
amount. Cherry is a strong wood, elm and ash are 
tough but hable to warp, although they are flexible ; 
and they are more rehable if the trees are left stand- 
ing and dried by ringing round the trunk. Larch 
is reported to be hable to wood-worm when used in 

529 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

navibus obnoxiam teredini tradunt, omniaque prae- 
terquam oleastrum et oleam ; quaedam enim in mari, 
quaedam in terra vitiis opportuniora. 

220 LXXX. Infestantium quattuor genera. teredines 
capite ad portionem grandissimo rodunt dentibus ; 
hae tantum in mari sentiuntur, nec aliam putant 
teredinem proprie dici. terrestres tinias vocant, 
culicibus vero similes thripas ; quartum est et e 
vermiculorum genere, et horum ^ aUi putrescente 
suco ipsa materie, alii pariuntur sicut in arboribus ex 
eo qui cerastes vocatur: cum tantum erosit ut 

221 circumagat se, gcnerat alium. haec nasci prohibet 
in aUis amaritudo, ut cupresso, in aUis duritia, ut 
buxo. tradunt et abietem circa germinationes de- 
corticatam qua diximus luna aquis non corrumpi. 
Alexandri Magni comites prodiderunt in Tylo Rubri 
maris insula arbores esse ex quibus naves fierent, quas 
ducentis annis durantes ^ inventas, etsi mergerentur, 
incorruptas. in eadem esse fruticem bacuUs tantum 
idoneae crassitudinis, varium tigrium macuUs, ponde- 
rosum et, cum in spissiora decidat, vitri modo 
fragilem. 

1 Rackham : eorum. 

2 durantes om. Pintianus. 



<» Ship-worms. 

* Tylos or Tyros, now Bahrein (c/. \T. 148, XII. 38 f.) in 
the Persian Gulf (often included by the ancients in the name 
♦RedSea'). 

'^ Kvidently teak is meant. 



BOOK XVI. lAxix. 219-LXXX. 221 

sea-going vessels, and the same witli all vvoods 
except thc wild and the cultivated oHve ; in fact 
some woods are more Hable to faults in the sea and 
others in the ground. 

LXXX. There are four kinds of pests that attack Creatures 
timbers. Borer-worms " have a very large head in pro- JS^^"* '^ 
portion to their size, and gnaw away wood with their 
teeth ; these worms are observed only in the sea, 
and it is held that they are the only ones to which 
the name of borer-worm properly appHes. The land 
variety are caHed moths, but the name for those 
resembHng gnats is thrips, and there is also a fourth 
kind belonging to the maggot class, of which some 
are engendered by the wood itself when its sap 
becomes putrid and others are produced by the 
worm caUed horned-worm — as they are in trees — 
which when it has gnawed away enough to be able 
to turn round, gives birth to another. The birth 
of these insects is prevented however in some trees, 
for instance the cypress, by the bitter taste of the 
wood, and in others, for instance the box, by its 
hardness. It is also said that the fir wiH not decay 
in water if about the time of budding and at the 
lunar period we stated it is stripped of its bark. The § 190, 
companions of Alexander the Great stated that on 
the island of Tylos^ in the Red Sea there are trees^ 
nsed for building ships, the timbers of which have 
been found continuing free from rot for two hundred 
years even though they were under water. They 
further reported that the same island contains a 
shrub growing only tliick enough for a walking 
stick, marked with stripes Hke a tiger skin, heavy 
and Hable to break Hke glass when it faUs on to 
things of harder substance. 



PLINY : NATURAL HISTORY 

222 LXXXI. Apud nos materiae finduntur aliquae 
sponte ; ob id architecti eas fimo inlitas siccari 
iubent ut adflatus non ^ noceant. pondus sus- 
tinere validae abies, larix, etiam in traversum 
positae ; robur, olea incurvantur ceduntque ponderi, 
illae renituntur nec temere rumpuntur, priusque 

223 carie quam viribus deficiunt. et palmae arbor valida ; 
in diversum enim curvatur [et populus] ^ : cetera 
omnia in inferiora pandantur, palma ex contrario 
fornicatim. pinus et cupressus adversus cariem 
tiniasque firmissimae. facile pandatur iuglans, fiunt 
enim et ex ea trabes ; frangi se praenuntiat crepitu, 
quod et in Antandro^ accidit, cum e balineis territi 

224 sono profugerunt. pinus, piceae, alni ad aquarum 
ductus in tubos cavantur, obrutae terra plurimis 
duraturae annis ; eaedem si non integantur cito 
senescunt, mirum in modum fortiores si umor extra 
quoque supersit. 

225 LXXXII. Firmissima in rectum abies, eadem valva- 
rum paginis et ad quaecumque libeat intestina opera 
aptissima, sive Graeco sive Campano sive Siculo fabri- 
cae artis genere, spectabilis ramentorum crinibus, 
pampinato semper orbe se volvens ad incitatos runcinae 
raptus, eadem e cunctis maxime sociabilis glutino, 
in tantum ut findatur ante qua solida est. 

^ ne Mayhoff. 
2 Brotier. 
r ' Brotier coll. Theophr. : Andro. 



» Perhaps the meaning is that palm branches shoot upward 
and then curve over downward in an arch. It is true that 
the branches of other trees do not curve so noticeably, 
although it is not the case that none of them shoot upward 
from the trunk. 



BOOK XVI. Lxxxi. 222-Lxxxii. 225 

LXXXI. We have in our country sonie timbers Durabiiuy of 
liable to split of their own accord, and architects '* ^** 
consequently recommend that they should be smeared 
with dung and then dried, so as to make them proof 
against the action of the atmosphere. Fir and larch 
are strong weight-carriers, even when placed hori- 
zontally, and whereas hard oak and oUve bend and 
yield to a weight, the woods named resist it and 
are not readily broken, and they fail owing to rot 
before they fail in strength. The palm tree also is 
strong, for it curves in a different way to other 
trees : all the others curve downward, but the palm 
curves in the opposite direction," making an arch. 
Pine and cypress are the strongest to resist rot and 
wood-worms. Walnut bends easily — for this wood 
also is used for making beams ; when it breaks it 
gives a warning in advance by a creaking noise, as 
happened for instance at Antandro, when people 
in the pubUc baths took alarm at the sound and 
made their escape. Pines, pitch pines and alders 
are hoUowed to form pipes for conveying water, and 
when buried underground wiU last a number of years ; 
but they age quickly if not covered over, the resistance 
they offer being remarkably increased if their out- 
side surface also is covered with moisture. 

LXXXII. Fir wood is strongest in a vertical posi- Useofjir. 
tion : it is very suitable for door panels and any kinds 
of inlaid work desired, whether in the Greek or the 
Campanian or the SiciUan style of joinery ; under 
brisk planing it makes pretty curly shavings, always 
twisting in a spiral Uke the tendrils of a vine ; 
moreover, of aU sorts of wood it is most adapted 
for being glued together, so much so that it wiU spUt 
at a soUd place before it parts at a join. 

533 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

226 LXXXIII. Magna autem et glutinatio propter ea 
quae sectilibus laminis aut ^ alio genere operiuntur. 
stamineam in hoc usu probant venam (et vocant 
ferulaceam argumento similitudinis) quoniam lacu- 
nosa et crispa in omni genere glutinum abdicant ; 
quaedam et inter se et cum aliis insociabilia glutino, 
sicut robur, nec fere cohaerent dissimilia natura, 
ut si quis lapidem lignumque coniungat. cornum 
maxime odit sorbus, carpinus, buxus, postea tilia. 

227 cuicumque operi flexilia^ omnia quae lenta diximus, 
praeterque morus et caprificus, forabilia ac sectilia 
quae modice umida ; arida enim latius quam terebras 
aut serras ^ cedunt, viridia praeter robur et buxum 
pertinacius resistunt serrarumque dentes replent 
aequalitate inerti, qua de causa alterna inclinatione 
egerunt scobem. 

228 LXXXIV. Oboedientissima quocumque in opere 
fraxinus, eademque hastis corylo melior, cornu levior,. 
sorbo lentior ; Gallica vero etiam ad currus flexih levi- 

229 tate.* aemularetur uhnus ni pondus esset in culpa. 
facihs et fagus, quamquam fragihs et tenera ; eadem 
sectiUbus laminis in tenui flexiUs capsisque ac scrineis 
sola utiUs. secatur in lamnas praetenues et ilex, colore 

^ Mayhoff : ac in. 

2 Warmington : facilia flexilia. 

^ terebras aut serraa Warmingiou : teraa. 

* Detlefsen : vita. 

534 



BOOK X\'I. Lxxxiii. 226-la:xxiv. 229 

LXXXIII. Gluoiiig also is inipi»rtanl for veneering Vnieer,at,d 
articles with thin sections of wood or otherwise. i^^lj^"*^* "^ 
For use as veneer a thready veining is approved 
of (it is called fennel-pattern grain on account of 
the resemblance), because in every kind of wood 
pieces with gaps and twists in them do not take the 
glue ; some woods cannot be joined by glueing 
either with wood of the same kind or with other woods, 
for example hard oak, and in general materials 
unhke in substance do not liold together, for instance 
if one tried to join stone and wood. The wood of the 
service-tree, the hornbeam and the box have a very 
strong dishke for cornel wood, and so to a smaller 
degree has lime. All of the woods we have de- 
scribed as yielding are easily bent for all pui-poses, 
and so besides are mulberry and wild fig ; while those 
which are moderately moist are suitable for boring 
and sawing, since dry woods give way beyond the 
part which you bore or saw, whereas green woods 
except hard oak and box offer a more obstinate re- 
sistance, and fiU up the teeth of saws in an ineffective 
even Hne ; this is the reason why the teeth are bent 
each way in turn, so as to get rid of the sawdust. 

LXXXIV. Ash is the most compliant wood in work Different 
of any kind, and is better than hazel for spears, lighter 'il^^^^their 
than cornel, and more phable than service-tree ; uses. 
indeed the GalUc ash even has the suppleness 
and Ught weight required for chariots. The elm 
would rival it were not its weight against it. Beech 
also is easily worked, although brittle and soft ; 
also cut in thin layers of veneer it is flexible, and is 
the only wood suitable for boxes and desks. The 
holm-oak as weU cuts into extremely thin layers, 
and also has a not unattractive colour, but it is most 

535 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

quoque non ingrata, sed maxime fida iis quae teran- 
tur, ut rotarum axibus, ad quos lentore fraxinus sicut 

230 duritia ilex et utroque legitur ulmus. sunt vero et 
parvi usus fabrilium ministeriorum, insigneque ^ 
proditum terebris vaginas ex oleastro, buxo, ilice, 
ulmo, fraxino utilissimas fieri, ex iisdem malleos, 
maioresque e pinu et ilice. et his autem maior ad 
firmitatem causa tempestivae caesurae quam inma- 
turae, quippe cum ex olea, durissimo ligno, cardines 
in foribus diutius immoti plantae modo germina- 
verint. Cato vectes aquifolios, laureos, ulmeos 
fieri iubet, Hyginus manubria rusticis carpinea, 
iligna, cerrea. 

231 Quae in lamnas secentur quorumque operimento 
vestiatur alia materies, praecipua sunt citrum, tere- 
binthus, aceris genera, buximi, palma, aquifolium, 
ilex, sabuci radix, populus. dat et alnus, ut dictum 
est, tuber sectile sicut citrum acerque ; nec aliarum 
tuber tam^ in pretio. media pars arborum crispior, 
et quo propior radici minoribus magisque flexilibus 

232 maculis. haec prima origo luxuriae arborum, aham ^ 
alia integi et \dUoris hgni e pretiosiore corticem fieri. 
ut una arbor saepius veniret, excogitatae sunt et 
ligni bratteae. nec satis : coepere tingui animahum 

^ insigneque? Mayhoff culL^ 113 : insignes ideoque. 
'^ Detlefsen (tuber iam Mayhoff) : tubera aut tuberia. 
^ aliam add. Rackham. 



* The word is primarily used of gold-leaf and otber very 
tbin plates of metal ; bere it denotes veneer. 



BOOK XVI. Lxxxiv. 229-232 

reliable for things subjected to friction, for instance 
the axles of wheels, for which ash is selected because 
of its pHancy, as also is holm-oak for its hardness 
and elni for both quahties. But wood is also used 
in small pieces for the operations of carpentry, and a 
remarkable fact stated is that the most serviceable 
holders for augers are made from wild ohve, box, 
holm-oak, elm and ash, and the best maUets from 
the same woods and larger ones from pine and 
holm-oak. But with these timbers also seasonable 
felhng is more conducive to strength than if done 
prematurely, inasmuch as hinges made of oHve, 
a very hard wood, that have been left too long un- 
moved in doorways have been known to put out shoots 
hke a growing plant. Cato recommends hoUy, r.k. 
laurel or elm for making levers, and Hyginus horn- ^^^^- ^- 
beam, holm-oak or Turkey-oak for the hafts of 
agricultural implements. 

The principal woods for cutting into layers and renemng 
for using as a veneer to cover other kinds of wood ^5I^,'"5^"^^ 
are citrus, turpentine-tree, varieties of maple, box, 
palm, holly, holm-oak, the root of the elder, and 
poplar. Also the alder, as has been stated, supphes §69. 
a tubcrosity that can be cut into layers, as do the 
citrus and the maple ; no other trees have tuberosi- 
ties so much valued. The middle part of trees is 
more variegated, and the nearer the root the smaller 
and the more wavy are the markings. This first 
originated the luxury use of trees, covering up one 
with another and making an outside skin for a cheaper 
wood out of a more expensive one. In order that 
one tree might be sold several times over, even thin 
layers ** of wood have been invented, And this was 
not enough : the horns of animals began to be dyed 

VOL. TV. S ^'^^ 



PLINY : NATURAL HISTORY 

cornua, dentes secari lignumque ebore distingui, 

233 mox operiri. placuit deinde materiem et in mari 
quaeri : testudo in hoc secta ; nuperque portentosis 
ingeniis principatu Neronis inventum ut pigmentis 
perderet se plurisque veniret imitata lignum. modo 
luxuria non fuerat contenta ligno, iam lignum et e ^ 
testudine facit.^ sic lectis pretia quaeruntur, sic 
terebinthum vinci iubent, sic citrum pretiosius fieri, 
sic acer decipi. 

234 LXXXV. Vita arborum quarundam inmensa credi 
potest, si quis profunda mundi et saltus inaccessos co- 
gitet. verum ex his quas memoria hominum custodit 
durant in Liternino Africani prioris manu sata olea,^ 
item myrtus eodem loco conspicuae magnitudinis — 
subest specus in quo manes eius custodire draco tradi- 

235 tur — Romae vero lotos in Lucinae area, anno qui fuit 
sine magistratibus ccclxxix urbis aede condita; in- 
certum ipsa quanto vetustior: esse quidem ve- 
tustiorem non est dubium, cum ab eo luco Lucina 
nominetur. haec nunc d circiter annum habet ; 
antiquior, sed incerta eius aetas, quae capillata 
dicitur, quoniam Vestalium virginum capillus ad 
eam defertur. 

236 LXXXVI. Verum altera lotos in Volcanali quod 
Romulus constituit ex victoria de decumis, aequaeva 

^ et e Salm. : et aut emi. 

- modo . . . facit hic Warmington : infra post decipi. 

^ Detlefsen : satae olivae. 

" ' Lucina ' from ' lucus ' : really doubtless from ' lux,' 
the goddesfl of birth who brings infants into the light of day. 



BOOK XVI. Lxxxiv. 232-Lxxxvi. 236 

and their tusks cut in slices, and wood to be inluid 
and later veenered with ivory. Next came the fancy 
of ransacking even the sea for material : tortoiseshell 
was cut up to provide it, and recently, in the 
principate of Nero, it was discovered by miraculous 
devices how to cause it to lose its natural ap- 
pearance by means of paints and fetch a higher 
price by imitating wood. A Httle time ago luxury 
had not thought wood good enough, but now it 
actually manufactures wood out of tortoiseshell. By 
these methods high prices are sought for couches and 
orders are given to outdo tuqDcntine wood, make a 
more costly citrus, and counterfeit maple. 

LXXXV. If one thinks of the remote regions of the instances cj 
world and the impenetrable forests, it is possible that /S!" ^' 
some trees have an immeasurable span of \ife. But 
of those that the memory of man preserves there 
still live an oUve planted by the hand of the elder 
Africanus on his estate at Liternum and Ukewise a 
myrtle of remarkable size in the same place — 
underneath them is a grotto in which a snake is said 
to keep guard over Africanus's shade — and a lotus oidueeiin 
tree in the precinct of Lucina at Rome founded in Rome. 
375 B.c, a year in which no magistrates were elected ; 
how much older the tree itself is uncertain, but at aU 
events there is no doubt that it is clder, since it is 
from the grove in qtjw^stion that the goddess Lucina <* 
takes her name. This tree is now about 500 years 
old ; stiU older, though its age is uncertain, is the 
lotus tree caUed the Hair Tree. because the \'estal 
\'irgins' offering of hair is brought to it. 

LXXXVI. But there is another lotus tree in the 
precincts of \'ulcan founded by Romulus from a 
tithe of his spoils of victory, which on the authority 

539 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

urbi intellegitur, ut auctor est Masurius. radices eius 
in forum usque Caesaris per stationes municipiorum 
penetrant. fuit cum ea cupressus aequalis circa 
suprema Neronis principis prolapsa atque neglecta. 

237 LXXXVII. Vetustior autem urbe in Vaticano ilex in 
qua titulus aereus ^ litteris Etruscis religione arborem 
iam tum dignam fuisse significat. Tiburtes quoque 
originem multo ante urbem Romam habent; apud 
eos extant ilices tres etiam Tiburno conditore eorum 
vetustiores, apud quas inauguratus traditur; fuisse 
autem eum tradunt filium Amphiarai qui apud 
Thebas obierit una aetate ante Iliacum bellum. 

238 LXXXVIII. Sunt auctores et Delphicam platanum 
Agamemnonis manu satam et alteram in Caphya^ 
Arcadiae loco.^ sunt hodie ex adverso lUensium urbis 
iuxta Hellespontum in Protesilai sepulchro arbores 
quae omnibus ex eo aevis, cum in tantum adcrevere 
ut lUum aspiciant, inarescunt rursusque adolescunt ; 
iuxta urbern autem quercus in IH tumulo tunc satae 
dicuntur cum coepit lUum vocari. 

239 LXXXIX. Argis olea etiamnum durare dicitur ad 
quam lo in tauram mutatam Argus alUgaverit. in 



^ Huebner : aereis. 
2 Mayhoff: Caphiae. 
Urlichs : luco. 

540 



BOOK X\'l. Lxxxvi. 236-Lxxxix. 239 

of Masurius is understood to be of the same age as 
the city. Its roots spread right across the Municipal 
Offices as far as the Forum of Caesar. With this 
there grew a cypress of equal age, which about the 
closing period of Nero's principate fell down and 
was left lying. 

LXXXVlI. But on the Vatican Hill thcre is a holm- 
oak that is older than the city ; it has a bronze tablct 
on it with an inscription written in Etruscan charac- 
ters, indicating that even in those days the tree was 
deemed venerable. The people of TivoU also date 
their origin far before the city of Rome ; and 
they have three holm-oaks still hving that date 
even earher than their founder Tiburnus, the cere- 
mony of whose installation is said to have taken 
place near them ; but tradition relates that he 
was the son of Amphiaraus, who died in battle 
before Thebes a generation before the Trojan 
war. 

LXXXVIII. Authorities say that there is a plane- oidtreestn 
tree at Delphi that was planted by the hand of Aga- ^ZTmnor. 
memnon, and also another at Caphya, a place in 
Arcadia. There are trees at the present day growing 
on the tomb of Protesilaus on the shore of the Dar- 
danelles opposite the city of the Trojans, which in 
every period since the time of Protesilaus, after 
they have grown big enough to command a view 
of Ihum, wither away and then revive again ; while 
the oaks on the tomb of Ilus near the city are said to 
have been planted at the date when the place first 
began to be called Ihum. 

LXXXIX. It is said that at Argos there still 
survives the ohve to which Argus tethered lo after 
she had been transformed into a heifer. West of 

541 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

Ponto citra Heracleam arae sunt lovis ^Tpariov cogno- 
mine : ibi quercus duae ab Hercule satae. in eodem 
tractu portus Amyci est Bebryce rege interfecto clarus; 
eius tuniulus a supremo die lauro tegitur quam insa- 
nam vocant, quoniam si quid ex ea decerptiun infera- 

240 tur navibus, iurgia fiunt donec abiciatur. regionmi 
Aulocrenen diximus per quam Apamea in Phrygiam 
itur: ibi platanus ostenditur ex qua pependerit 
Marsuas victus ab Apolline, quae iam tum magni- 
tudine electa est. nec non palma Dcli ab eiusdem 
dei aetate conspicitur, Olympiae oleaster ex quo 
primus Hercules coronatus est : et nunc custoditur 
religio. Athenis quoque olea durare traditur in 
certamine edita a Minerva. 

241 XC. Ex diverso brevissima vita est punicis, fico, 
malis,et ex his praecocibus brevior quam serotinis, dul- 
cibus quam acidis,^ et dulciori in punicis, item in viti- 
bus, praecipueque fertilioribus. Graecinus auctor est 
sexagenis annis durasse vites. videntur et aquaticae 
celerius interire. senescunt quidem velociter sed e 
radicibus repullulant laurus et maH et punicae. 

^ Pinfianus (acerbis Urlichs) : acutis. 



" The coiitest for primacy at Athens, which Zeus had de- 
cided should go to the deity who did the citizens the best 
service; Poseidon constructed the harbour and shipyards, 
but Pallas Athene caused olive-trees to grow on the AcropoUs, 
and she was declared the winner. 



BOOK XVI. Lxxxix. 239-xc. 241 

Heraclea in Pontus therc are altars dedicated to 
Jupiter under his Greek title of Stratios, where there 
are two oak trees planted by Hercules. In the sarrie 
region there is a port called Harbour of Amycus, 
famous as the place where King Bebryx was killed ; his 
tomb ever since the day of his dcath has been shaded 
by a laurel tree which they call the Mad Laurel, 
because if a piece plucked from it is taken on board 
ships, quarrelhng breaks out until it is thrown 
away. We have mentioned the region of Aulocrene, v. 106. 
traversed by the route leading from Apamea into 
Phiygia ; in it travellers are shown the plane-tree 
from which Marsyas was hanged after losing his 
match with Apollo, and which w^as selected for the 
purpose on account of its size even then. Moreover 
at Delos may be seen a palm tree dating back to 
the time of the same deity, and at Olympia a wild 
ohve from which was made the wreath with which 
Hercules w-as crowned for the first time — veneration 
for it is preserved even now. Also the ohve tree 
produced by Minerva in the competition ° is reported 
still to exist at Athens. 

XC. On the other hand pomegranates, the fig and ''^f*ort 
the apple class are extremely short-hved ; and among K^* ° 
apples those that ripen early are more short-hved 
than those that ripen late and the sweet ones than 
the sour, and the same is the case with the sweeter 
variety among the pomegranates, and hkewise among 
vines, and particularly the more fruitful ones. 
Graecinus states that there have been cases of vines 
hving 600 years. It also appears that trees growing 
in water die more quickly. Laurels, apples and 
pomegranates age rapidly, it is true, but they put 
out shoots again from their roots. Consequently 

543 



lit-ed 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

firmissimae ergo ad vivendum oleae, ut quas durare 
annis cc inter auctores conveniat. 

242 XCI. Est in suburbano Tusculani agri colle qui Come 
appellatur lucus antiqua religione Dianae sacratus a 
Latio, velut arte tonsili coma fagei nemoris. in hoc 
arborem eximiam aetate nostra amavit Passienus 
Crispus bis cos., orator, Agrippinae matrimonio et 
Nerone privigno clarior postea, osculari conplectique 
eam solitus, non modo cubare sub ea vdnumque illi 
adfundere. vicina luco est ilex et ipsa nobilis xxxiv 
pedum ambitu caudicis, decem ceu ^ arbores emittens 
singulas magnitudinis visendae silvamque sola faciens. 

243 XCII. Hedera necari arbores certiun est. similem 
quidam et in visco tametsi tardiorem iniuriam earum 
arbilrantur — namque et hoc praeter fructus adgnosci- 

244 tur non in novissimis mirabile. quaedam enim in terra 
gigni non possunt et in arboribus nascuntur, namque 
cum suam sedem non habeant, in aliena vivunt: 
sicut viscum et in Syria herba quae vocatur cadytas, 
non tantum arboribus sed ipsis etiam spinis circum- 
volvens sese, item circa Tempe Thessalica quae 
polypodion vocatur et quae dolichos ac serpyllura. 

1 ceu add. Mueller, 

544 



BOOK XVI. xc. 241-xai. 244 

the hardiest trees to live are olives, seeing that it is 
generally agreed among the authorities that they last 
200 years. 

XCI. On a hill named Come in the territory of Tus- Ceiebrated 
cuhim, near the city, there is a grove named Come xuiniium. 
which has been held in reverence from early times 
by the district of Latium as sacred to Diana ; it consists 
of a beech coppice the foliage of which has the appear- 
ance of having been trimmcd by art. This grove con- 
tains one outstanding tree which in our generation 
excited the afFection of the orator Passienus Crispus, 
who had twice been consul and who subsequcntly 
became still more distinguished by marrying Agrip- 
pina and becoming the stepfather of Nero ; Crispus 
used regularly not merely to He beneath the tree and 
to pour wine over it, but to kiss and embrace it. Closc 
to this grove is a holm-oak which is also famous, as 
measuring thirty-four fect round the trunk, and 
sending out what look Hke ten separate trees of 
remarkable size and forming a w^ood of itself. 

XCII. It is a well-known fact that trees are killed ParasUic 
by ivy. Some people believe that a similar property noxi^ms to 
noxious to trees, though operating more slowly, is also "'^^*' 
contained in mistletoe — for this plant also is recognised 
as by no means among the least remarkable on 
account of other properties beside its berries. 
For some varieties of plants cannot grow in the 
earth, and take root in trees, because they have no 
abode of their own and consequently hve in that of 
others : instances of this are mistletoe and the plant in 
Syria called cadytas, which twines itself round not 
only trees but even teasels, and Hkewise in the dis- 
trict about Tempe in Thessaly the plant caHed 
polypodium, and also the doHchos and the serpyllum. 

545 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

oleastro quoque deputato quod gignatur vocant 
phaunos, quod vero in spina fullonia hippophaeston, 
cauliculis inanibus, fohis parvis, radice alba, cuius 
suciLs ad detractiones in comitiaH morbo utiHssimus 
habetur. 

245 XCIII. Visci tria genera. namque in abiete, larice 
stehn dicit Euboea,i hyphear Arcadia, viscum autem 
in quercu, robore, ihce, piro silvestri, terebintho, nec 
non et ^ aliis arboribus adgnasci plerisque,^ copio- 
sissimum in quercu quod dryos hyphear ^ vocant. in 
omni arbore excepta iHce et quercu differentiam 
facit acini ^ odor virusque et foHum non iucundi odoris, 

246 utroque visci amaro et lento. hyphear ad saginanda 
pecora utiHus vicia ^ : modo purgat primo, dein 
pinguefacit quae suffecere purgationi, quibus sit 
aHqua tabes intus negant durare. ea medendi ratio 
aestatis quadragenis diebus. adiciunt discrimen 
visco, in iis ' quae foHa amittant ^ et ipsi decidere, 

247 contra inhaerere nato in aetema fronde. omnino 
autem satum nuUo modo nascitur nec nisi per alvum 
avium redditum, maxime palumbis ac turdi : haec 
est natura ut nisi maturatum in ventre avium 
non proveniat. altitudo eius non excedit cubi- 
talem, semper frutectosi ac viridis. mas fertiHs, 

1 Hermolaus : Euboea nasci. 

2 non et add. e Theophr. Mayhojf. 
' plerisque ? Mueller : plerique. 

* Edd. : quercu adhasphear et alia. 
^ acini add. in adnol. Mayhoff. 

* V.l. vitia {yost punctum). 
' Rackham : his. 

* Caesarius : mittant. 



BOOK XVI. xcii. 244-xcin. 247 

Also a plant that grows on a wild olive aftcr it has 
been lopped is called phaunos, while one that grows 
on the fuller's teazel is called hippophaestum ; it has 
hollow stalks.small leaves and awhite root.the juice 
of which is considered very useful for purgatives 
in epilepsy. 

XCIII. There are thrce kinds of mistletoe. One VanfUesoj 
that grows as a parasite on the fir and the larch is callcd ""*' ** 
stelis in Euboca and hyphear in Arcadia, and the name 
of mistletoe is used for one growing on the oak, 
hard oak. holm-oak, wild pear, turpentine-tree, and 
indeed most other trees ; and growing in great 
abundance on the oak is one which they call dryos 
hyphear. There is a difFercnce in the ca^^e of every 
tree except the holm-oak and the oak in the smell 
and poison of the berry and the disagreeably scented 
leaf, both the berry and the leaf of the mistletoe 
being bitter and sticky. The hyphear is more useful 
than tare for fattening cattle; at first it only acts 
as a purge, but it subsequently fattens the beasts 
that have stood the purging process, although they 
say that those with some internal malady cannot 
stand it. T)iis method of trcatment is employed 
for forty days in summer. An additional variety is 
said to be found in mistletoe, in that when it grows 
on deciduous trees it also sheds its leaves itself, but 
whcn growing on an evergreen tree it retains its 
leaves. But universally when mistlctoe seed is 
sown it never sprouts at all, and only when passed 
in the excrement of birds, particularly the pigeon 
and the thrush : its nature is such that it will not 
shoot unless it has been ripened in the stomach of 
birds. Its height does not exceed eighteen inches, 
and it is evergreen and always in leaf. The male 

547 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

femina sterilis, nisi quod et fertilis aliquando non 
fert. 

248 XCIV. Viscum fit ex acinis qui colliguntur messium 
tempore inmaturi ; nam si accessere imbres, amplitu- 
dine quidem augentur, visco vero marcescunt. sic- 
cantur deinde et aridi tunduntur ac conditi in aqua 
putrescunt duodenis fere diebus, unumque hoc rerura 
putrescendo gratiam invenit. inde in profluente, 
rursus malleo tusi, amissis corticibus interiore carne 
lentescunt. hoc est viscum pinnis avium tactu 
ligandis oleo subactum cum libeat insidias moUri. 

249 XCV. Non est omittenda in hac re et Galliarum 
admiratio. nihil habent Druidae — ita suos appellant 
magos — visco et arbore in qua gignatur, si modo sit 
robur, sacratius. iam per se roborum ehgunt lucos, 
nec uUa sacra sine earum fronde conficiunt, ut inde 
appellati quoque interpretatione Graeca possint 
Druidae videri ; tum vero ^ quidquid adgnascatur 
ilUs e caelo missum putant signumque esse electae 

250 ab ipso deo arboris. est autem id rarum admodum 
inventu et repertum magna reHgione petitur et ante 
omnia sexta luna (quae principia mensum annorum- 
que his facit) et saecuH post tricesimum annum, quia 

^ tum vero ? Mayhoff : enimvero. 



BOOK XVI. xciii. 247-xcv. 250 

plant is fcrtile and the female barren, except that 
even a fcrtile plant sometimes does not bear. 

XCIV. Mistletoe berries can be used for making Mistietoe 
bird-lime, if gathered at harvest time while unripe ; 
for if the rainy season has begun, although they get 
bigger in size they lose in viscosity. They are then 
dried and when quite dry pounded and stored in 
water, and in about twelve days they turn rotten — 
and this is the sole case of a thing that becomes 
attractive by rotting. Then after having been again 
poundcd up they are put in running water and there 
lose their skins and become viscous in their inner 
flesh, This substance after being kneaded with oil 
is bird-Hme, used for entangling birds' wings by 
contact with it when one wants to snare them. 

XCV. While on this subject we also must not omit Worshipo/ 
the respect shown to this plant by the Gallic provinces. oaui. 
The Druids — that is what they call their magicians — 
hold notliing more sacred than mistletoe and a tree 
on which it is growing, provided it is a hard-oak. 
Groves of hard-oaks are chosen even for their own 
sake, and the magicians perform no rites without 
using the foHage of those trees, so that it may be 
supposed that it is from this custom that they get 
their name oi" Druids, from the Greek word mean- 
ing ' oak ' ; but further, anything growing on oak- 
trees they think to have been sent down from hcaven, 
and to be a sign that the particular tree has been 
chosen by God himself. Mistletoe is, however, 
rather seldom found on a hard-oak, and .when it is 
discovered it is gathered with great ceremony, and 
particularly on the sixth day of the moon (which 
for these tribes constitutes the beginning of the 
raonths and the years) and after everj' thirty years of 

549 



PLINY: NATURAL HISTORY 

iam vlrium abunde habeat. nec sit sui dimidia. 
omnia saniintem appellantes suo vocabulo, sacrificio 
epulisque rite sub arbore conparatis duos admovent 
candidi coloris taui-os quorum cornua tum primum 
251 vinciantur. sacerdos candida veste cultus arborem 
scandit, falce aurea demetit, candido id excipitur 
sago. tum deinde victimas immolant precantes, 
suum donum deus prosperum faciat iis quibus dederit. 
fecunditatem eo poto dari cuicumque animalium 
sterili arbitrantur, contra venena esse omnia remedio ; 
tanta gentium in rebus frivolis plerumque religio est. 



550 



BOOK XV I. xcv. 250-251 

a new generation, becaiisc it is then rising in strength 
and not one half of its full size. HaiHn;Lr the moon in 
a native word that means ' heahng all things,' they 
prepare a ritual sacrifice and banquet beneath a tree 
and bring up two white bulls, whose horns are bound 
for tlie first time on this occasion. A priest arrayed 
in white vestments cHmbs the tree and with a 
golden sickle cuts down the mistletoe, which is 
caught in a white cloak. Then finally they kill the 
victims, praying to God to render his gift propitious 
to those on whom he has bestowed it. They beheve 
that mistletoe given in drink will impart fertiHty to 
any animal that is barren. and that it is an antidote 
for all poisons, So powerful is the superstition in 
regard to trifling matters that frequently prevails 
among the races of mankind. 



551 



IXDEX OF PERSONS 



Afeic biofjraphical notesare added to supplement thefacts given in the textand notcs, 

Appius Claudius, XV 2 

Argus, ' hundred-eyed,' made guardian 

of lo by Hera, XVI 239 
Aristaeus, son of ApoUo and Cyrene, 

mvthical benefactor of mankind, 

XiV 53 
Aristomachus, Greek writer on agri- 

culture and domestic economy, XIV 

120 
Asclepiades of Prusias in Bithynia, 

practised medicine at Bome, Ist c. 

B.C., XIV 76 
Asinius Gallus, consul 8 B.C., XIII 92 
Assabinus, XII 89 
Ateius, XIV 93 
Augusta, XII 94 ; XHI 79, 83 ; XIV 

60, 72 ; XV 47 ; XVI 8 
Aueustus, XII 3, 94; XIII 74, 83; 

XIV 61, 72; XV 47; XVI 8 



Acharistio, XIV 92 

Achilles, XVI 62 

Acilius, XIV 48 

Aegialus, XIV 49 

Aelius, XIV 93 

Aeseminus Marcellas, defended Aeser- 

nia in Samnium agaiust Samnite 

rising, but forced to surrender, 90 

B.C., XII 12 
Africanus Scipio, ilinor, conquered 

Carthage 146 B.C., XVI 14 
Agamemnon, XVI 238 
Agrippa, great soldicr, supported 

Augustus, XIV 147 ; XVI 7 f. 
Agrippina, d. of G«rmanicus and 

Agrippina and mother of Nero by 

first huaband Cn. Domitius, XVI 

242 
Alcibiades, XIV 144. 
Aleiander, XII 21; 24, 33, 62, 86, 

117; Xni 3, 69, 101; XIV 68; 

XVI 144, 221 
Alexander Comelius, encyclopaedic 

Greek writer at Rome, 80 B.C., 

XIII 119; XVI 16. 
Amphiaraus, XVI 237 
Amphilochus, agriculturai writer, XIII 

130 
Androcydes, Greek physician, XIV 58 
Antias, Homan annalist, 90 B.C., 

XIII 87 
Antigenides, Theban flautist and poet, 

temp. Alexander, XVI 170 
Antigonus. general of Alexander, made 

himself king of Asia, XIII 73 
Antiochus, XIII 24 
Antonius, XIV 147 
Apollo, XII 3; XIII 52; XV 134; 

XVI 216, 24U 
ApoUodoruB, XIV 76 



Baebius, XIII 85 
Bagous, XIII 41 

Bebryx, mvthical king, XVI 239 
Bellerophon, XIII 88 
Bocchus, unknown author, XVI 216 
Brutus, nephew of Tarquinius, Super- 
buB, XV 134 

Caesar, XIII 93 ; XIV 56, 72, 95, 97 ; 

XVI 7 
Capito, XIV 93 
Capitolinus, Manlius, repuised the 

Gauls from the Capitol 390 B.C., 

XVI 13 
Cassius Hemina, Roman annalist, 

140 B.C., XIII 84 
Cato, XIV 44, 52, 86, 90, 129; XV 

20, 24, 44, 50, 56, 72, 122 f., 137; 

XVI139, 141,173, 193 
Celsus, see Comelias Celsus. 

553 



INDEX OF PERSONS 



Cestins, XV 49 

Cetbegus, cos. 181 B.C., XIII 85, 92 

Cicero, XIII 83. 92 ; XIV 147 

Cineas, XIV 12 

Circe, XIII 100 

Claudius, XII 12, 78; XIII 78; XVI 

204 
Commiades, XIV 120 
Cornelius, see Alexander Cornelius. 
Oornelius Celsus, temp. Augustus, 

authorof De Medicina, XIV 33 
CorncliusNepos,/e7np.Cicero,historian 

and biographer {Vitae Excellentium 

Imperatorum, still exLant), XIII 

104: XVI 36 
Corneiius Vaierianus, XIV II 
Crassns, XV 83, 125 
Cremutius Cordus, republican his- 

torian under Augustus and Tiberius, 

XVI 108 
Crispus Passienus, orator, second 

husband of Agrippina, XVI 242 
Curius M*., friend of Cicero, Quaestor 

Urbanus 61 B.C., XVI 185 

Darius, k. of Tersia, 521-485 B.C., 

XIII 3 
Declus, XVI 11 

Demetrius, k. of Macedon, 300 B.C., 

XVI 203 
Democritus of Abdera, 4f>ft-361 B.C., 

originated atomic theory, XIV 20 
Diana, XIV 9 
Diomcdes, k. of Argos, fought in 

Trojan wars, buried in is and called 

after him off Cape Garganum, XII 6 
Dionysius the elder, 430-367 B.C., 

tyrant of Svracuse, XII 7, 12 
Domitius, XIV 90 
Dossennus, see Fabius Dosseimus. 
Druidae, XVI 229 
Drusilla, XV 136 
Drusus, brother of Eraperor Tiberius, 

conquered large part of Qermany, 

XIV 145 

Bgnatius, XIV 89 
Endoeus, XVI 214 
Erasistratus, fl. 300-260 B.C. at 

Bvrian court and iu Aleiandria, 

XIV 73 
Eumenes, k. of Pergamon, 197-159 

B.C., XIII 70 
Euphronius, XIV 2 
Europa, XITll 

554 



Fabianus Papirius, rhetorician and 

piiilosopher temji. Tiberius and 

Caiigula, XII 20 ; XV 3 
Fabius Dosseunus, early Roman 

comic draraatist, XIV 92 
Fabius Pictor, earliest historian of 

Rome, wrote in Greek, XIV 89 
Fagutais. XVI37 
Fauni, XII 3 
Flaccus Pompeius, XV 91 

Gaius Caligula, emperor, A.D. 37-41, 

XIII 22; XIV 64; XVI 201 
Gailus, «ec Asinius. 

Gcrmanicus Caesar, nephew of Tiber- 
ius, subjugated western Germany, 

XIV 56 

Gracchi, Tiberius, tribune 133, Gaius 
trlbune 123, 122 B.C., reformers, 

XIII 83 

Graecinus, cos. A.D, 16, wrote on 
horticulture, put to death by Nero, 

XIV 33; XVI 241 

Ilaramon, supreme god of Egypt, 

XII 107; XIII 102, 111 
Harpalus, treasurer of Alexander, 

XVI 144 
nemina. see Cassius. 
Hercules, XVI 234 
Herodotus, XII 17, 80, 85 
Hesiod, XIV3; XV 3; XVI 31 
Hicesias, XIV 120 
Hiero, tyraut of Syracuse 478-467 B.C., 

XVI 192 
Homer, XIII 69, 88, 100; XIV 53; 

XVI 9, 19, 62, 110 
Hortensius, dictator about 286 B.C., 

XIV 96 ; XVI 37 
Hostus Hostilius, XVI 11 

Ilus, grandfather of Priam, founded 

lYoy, XVI 238 
lo, beloved of Zeus who, because of 

Hcra'» iealousy, turned her into a 

heifer, XVI 239 

Juba, k.of MauretaniaunderAugustus, 
voluminous author, XII 39, 56, 60, 
67, 80; XIII 34 

Julia, XIV6U 

Julius Caesar, XIII 24 

Junius, XV 2 

Juno, XIV 9 

Jupiter XII 3, 11, 89 



INDEX OF PERSONS 



Lcnaeus, Atbenian freedman of 
Pompey the Great, auttior and 
schoolmaster at Rome, XV 129 

Liber, Italian god of fields and viiies, 
identified with Bacchus, XII 85; 
XVI 9, 155,214 

Licinianns Mucius, XII 9 

Livia, XIII74; XIV 111 ; XV 70, 136 

Lucullus, cos. 74 B.C., «ommanded 
against Mithridates 71 li.C, famous 
for hixurious bouses and gardens, 
XIV OG 

Maetennius, XIV 89 
Mallius, unJinown, XV 49 
MarceHus, xee Aeserninus. 
Marsvas. cballenged Apollo to musical 

contest, defeated, bound to a tree 

and flaved by Apolio, XV 240 
Maso, cos. 231 B.C., XV 126 
Masurius Sabinus, iurtst, temp. Tiber- 

ius, XV 126, 135'; XVI 75, 236 
Matius, XII 13; XV. 49 
Medi, XII 16 

Minerva, XII 3 ; XVI 214, 240 
Mithridates, 120-63 B.C., k. of Poutus, 

XVI 137 
Mucianus, cos. A.n. 52, 70, 75, sup- 

ported Vespasian against Vitellius, 

XIII 88; XVI 213 

Nepos, see Oomelius. 

Nero, emperor A.D. 54-68, XII 19, 83 ; 

XIII 22 ; XIV 61 ; XVI 206, 233, 

242 
Nomius, XII 193 
Novellius, sce Torquatus. 
Numa, second king of Rome 715-673 

B.C., XIII 84 f.; XIV 88 

Onesicritus, historian of AIexander's 
Asiatic campaigns, on which he 
served, XII 34 ; XV 68 

Otho, emperor for 3 months, A.n. 69, 
XIII 22 

Palaemon, tee Bemmius. 
Papinius, cos. A.D. 36, XV 47 
Papirius, XIV 91 ; XV 126 
Passienus, see Cri.spus. 
Petilius, praetor ISl B.C., XIII 86 
Piso, XIll 87; XVI 12G-192 
Plancus. cos. 42 B.C., supporter of 
Julius Oaesar and Octavian, XIII 25 
Plautus. XIV 92 



Plotius, XIII 25 

Ponipeius, XII 20, 111; XV 3, 70 

12G; XVI 7 
Pomponius Secundus, tragic poet, cos. 

A.D. 41, XIII 83; XIV 56 
Poppaea, mistress and later wife of 

Nero, XII 83 
Postumius, cos. 505 B.C., XV 125 
Protesilaus, Thes.salian cliief, landed 

first at Troy and killed, XVI 238 
Ptolcmaei, kings of J'^gyiit, XII 56, 76, 

XIV 76 
Ptolemaeus of Mauretania, XIII 93 
Pyrrhus, 318-272 B.C., k. of Epirus, 

XIV 12; XVI 36 

Remmius, Q. Palaemon Fannius. 
liberated Greek slave, famons 
scholar, taught Quintilian, XIV 49 

Saturnus, XV 42 

Scaevola, XIV 93 

Scandius, XV 49 

Scipio Africanus Maior, XVI 192 

Secundus, see Pomponius. 

Seius, XV 2 

Seleucus, 353-250 B.C., k. of Syria, 

XVI 135 
Seneca, author and statesman under 

Claudius and Nero, XIV 51 
Sentius, XIV 96 
Servilius, XVI 14 
Sibylla, XIII 88 
Siccius, XVI 14 
Silenus. XVI 155 
Silvani, XII 3 
Sol, XII 90 
Sosianus Apollo, statue hrought to 

Rome from Seleucia by Q. Sosius, 

XIII 53 
Spartacas, XV 125 
Sthenelus, XIV 48 
Stratius, XVI 239 

Tamphilus, cos. 181 B.C., XIII 85 
Tarquinius Priscus, k. of Ronic, 

616-579 B.C., XV 1 
Tarquinius Superbus, iast k. of Rome, 

534-510 B.C., XIII 88 
Tergilla, XIV 147 
Theoi)hrastus, pnpil and successor of 

Aristotle, XIII 101 ; XV 1, 10, 83, 

138; XVI 144 
Theopominis, liistorian, patronized by 

Alexander, XVI 59 

555 



INDEX OF PERSONS 



Tlberius, emperor, A.D. 14-37, XIII 
89,94; XIV 16, 64, 143 ff.; XV 54; 
XVI 190, 200 

Torquatus Novellius of Milan, temp. 
Claudius, sumamed Tricongius be- 
cause he drank 3 congii (about 2J 
gallons) of wine at a draught, XIV 
144 

Tubertus, see Postumius. 

Tuditanus, cos. 129 B.C., orator and 
rhetorician, XIII 87 

Valerianus Cornelius, friend of Plinv, 

XIV 11 
Valerius, M., brother of Valerius 



Publicola who eipelled the TarquinB, 

XV 126 
Varro, encvclopaedic author, XIII 

69f., 84, 87; XIV47, 58, 96; XV 

34,60; XVI7, 115, 194 
Veiovis, old Italian deity, XVI 126 
Venus Myrtea, XVI 121 
Venus Victrix, XV 125 
Vergilius, XII 17; XIII 83; XIV 7, 

18,35,39,67,128; XV 4, 56; XVI 

127 
Vespasianos, emperor, a.d. 70-79, 

XII 94, 111 
Vetulenus, XIV 49 
Vitellius, XVI 83, 91 



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Marcus. 
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HiPPiAS. H. X. Fowler. 
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Plato: Laches, Puotagoras, Meno, Kuthydemus. \V. 11. M. 

Lamb. 
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